More than 200 teens from high schools throughout the Okanagan spent their Thursday on OC’s Kelowna campus for a full day learning about technology and innovation.
Organized by Junior Achievement British Columbia (JABC), the day focused on introducing middle school-aged students to the vast variety of opportunities that permeate the tech world. The morning opened with a plenary, led by Andrew MacLean, co-founder of HighTech U, a learning community based out of the University of Victoria. Other speakers included Okanagan College Regional Dean Phil Ashman, Ashley Ramsay of Yeti Farm Creative, Ray Warren of RBC and Veronica Best from Dyspatch.
What JABC is doing with this program is really setting students up for success by showing them different pathways that then inspire and show them what they can do…
“To see this event go from a smaller theatre in Victoria all the way to Kelowna now has been fantastic,” says MacLean. “What JABC is doing with this program is really setting students up for success by showing them different pathways that then inspire and show them what they can do. Right now, there is still a perception that you can be a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher, or maybe a programmer, but people don’t realize just how many opportunities there are in tech in BC, let alone the rest of the world.”
Following lunch, students divided into breakout sessions, consisting of presentations and deep dives on various tech topics led by instructors. With five sessions to choose from, ranging from visual effects and animation to robotics and LED tech, students interacted with the presenters from Sony Pictures Imageworks, Best Buy, the Industry Training Authority and KF Aerospace and the College.
Held outside Vancouver for the first time since the event’s inception in 2016, the sessions offered a hands-on experience for students to test technology and ask questions. In the session led by Best Buy, students used iPads to code five-inch tall Star Wars BB8 robots, leading them through a maze on the ground.
Most careers, if not all, will be tech-enabled and our whole mission is to prepare students for lifelong success…
“This event exposes kids to what their future might look like in terms of careers,” says Sheila Biggers, CEO of JABC. “Most careers, if not all, will be tech-enabled and our whole mission is to prepare students for lifelong success. The importance of today is that this really opens up young people’s minds to that idea and hopefully we give them information on how to prepare themselves so that they can benefit from the future they may graduate into.”
For a photo gallery from the event, click here.
About JA British Columbia
JA British Columbia (JABC) is a member of JA Worldwide, the world’s largest and most recognized not-for-profit organization dedicated to teaching youth about business. JABC has been delivering programs in entrepreneurship, financial literacy and career readiness for over 60 years in partnership with donors, volunteers, and educators. Visit jabc.ca for more information.
About technologies at Okanagan College
Okanagan College offers an array of technology programs including diplomas in 2D/3D Animation, Civil Engineering Technology, Electronic Engineering Technology, Mechanical Engineering Technology, Network and Telecommunications Engineering Technology, Sustainable Construction Management Technology and Water Engineering Technology, as well as a Sustainable Studies Post-Diploma certificate program. Students can conveniently bridge their Engineering Technology diploma from Okanagan College into a degree at the University of British Columbia Okanagan and other Canadian universities. The College’s Continuing Studies and Corporate Training Department also offers a number of tech-focused programs, from certificates in Blockchain and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to a collaborative Gateway to Tech program delivered in partnership with a number of School Districts across the region; an intake recently completed in Vernon and others began this month in Kelowna, Osoyoos and Salmon Arm. The program is geared toward helping high school students understand how current technology will shape their careers through a 17-week course. Students receive credits toward their high-school graduation. Learn more at okanagan.bc.ca.
Tyler Finley, Public Affairs | 250-575-3285 | firstname.lastname@example.org