What do you get when you bring together Canada's smartest, most ambitious, talented and compassionate STEM students? The answer: "SLXCA: Connect. Learn. Inspire."
In 2016, SLX events took place in both Ontario and BC. After the success of these pilot initiatives the next step was to find a way to bring together all Schulich Leaders across Canada. On September 16, this vision was realized, as more than 200 Schulich Leaders gathered at 9 different locations to partake in an event like no other.
Led by a dedicated committee of Schulich Leader volunteers and the guidance of SLS Executive Director, David Goodman, the vision of SLXCA came to life!
SLXCA 2017 was hosted via Facebook Live from the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto.
Here are some highlight's of the day:
Guests arrived and had time to network with one another before the festivities officially kicked off. The day also included two breakout sessions where Leaders had the opportunity to get to know members of their respective university squads as well as other students in their STEM fields of study. A definite highlight from the day was the Instagram Challenge. Each squad was tasked with taking various photos and videos and uploading them to the private Schulich Leader Network Instagram page. The laughter from the audience was contagious, as teams took artistic liberties and really made it their own. Following the end of the livestream, students departed for post event celebrations in their respective cities, where they had more time to form connections that will surely last a lifetime.
The "Leader Talks" segments proved to be a great opportunity for students to learn about what their peers have been up to both academically and during their free time. Although Leader Talks are offered throughout the year via webinars, having the presenters there in a live environment really added to the impact of the day. In addition to the live Leader Talks based in Toronto, some hubs had their own Leader Talks presentations take place as well. From Liam Lawrence’s "Three lessons from an engineering capsule project" to Haleema Khan’s experience expanding her horizons through her unique summer endeavours, there really was something for everyone.
The keynote speaker at SLXCA was Dr. Julielynn Wong, a renowned physician-scientist and 3D innovator. Dr. Wong shared her experience with technological innovation and developing a career path towards this pursuit. Highlights from her career include being the first to 3D print medical supplies on the International Space Station and designing a solar-powered ultra-portable 3D printing system that can make medical supplies in remote, off-grid communities. Many would agree that this was another high point in an already inspiring day. In fact, some Leaders were so inspired they decided, on the spot, to join Dr. Wong's Medical Makers global community. Four new chapters are in the process of being launched by Schulich Leaders at their respective universities.
It is without a doubt that we can say the first SLXCA was a great success! Schulich Leaders across Canada were able to connect, learn and inspire one another. We can’t wait to take it to the next level in 2018!
A very special thank you to the Schulich Foundation and all of the wonderful Schulich Leader volunteers for making this happen.