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Canadian International Youth Forums (ScienceSpheres)

"On Becoming a Scientist: If we want today to give tomorrow's world a real chance, then we must give science its rightful place." John Polanyi, 1986 Nobel Laureate for Chemistry, 2001 Canadian International Youth Forum.

Science and technology are international in origin and effects. The development of modern science and technology has an increasing impact on our life and culture. Leading scientists, technological innovators and entrepreneurs of the 21st century will have to communicate an increased sense of intellectual and moral responsibility for the state of this world and its future.

Of all intellectual activity, science, in its civilizing and humanizing role, has turned out to have the kind of universality among humans which the times require. Science is far from a perfect instrument of knowledge, but it is the best we have in the field of inquiry that yields knowledge."

From PAEP Science International (member of Forum UNESCO)

“Direct investment in the future of young women and men, through the continual strengthening of our educational, cultural and scientific foundation, is the key for sustained societal competence, a stronger workforce, and sound economic progress in a rapidly changing world.
From the PAEP Mission Statement - Minding Our Future

Introduction. The innovative, transdisciplinary Canadian International Youth Forums (ScienceSpheres) were established in 1994. Under the theme, "Exploring New Ways of Knowing - New Ideas and Perspectives in Science," the first youth forum was inaugurated at the Ontario Science Centre by distinguished contributors,

  • Michael Smith, 1993 Nobel Laureate for Chemistry, Director, Biotechnology Laboratory, University of B.C.
  • Fraser Mustard, M.D., F.R.S.C., C.C., President, The Canadian Institute for Advanced Research
  • Verna Higgins, Ph.D., Chair, Department of Botany, University of Toronto
  • Jonathon Freedman, Ph.D., Professor and coordinator of the Social Psychology Division, University of Toronto
  • Teresa Brychcy, M.Sc., Director, Scholarship/Fellowship Programs of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

The primary objectives of the Canadian International Youth Forums are:

1. To prepare youth for the challenges in the increasingly knowledge-driven and interdependent world of the 21st century.

2. To foster a new educational and cultural dialogue that more effectively increases public awareness, knowledge and understanding of the significance of:

  • The sciences and innovation
  • Research and development
  • The environment and sustainable development
  • The development and engineering of new technologies,

as an integral part of our education and culture.

To accomplish this, career development Youth Forums, under the theme, "Exploring New Ways of Knowing," establish important transdisciplinary linkages with the humanities, the branches of learning that sustain creativity, social thought, ethics and the values we rely upon as a society, especially: history, philosophy, literature, the arts, and the cognitive and social sciences.

This key transdisciplinary program design serves to:

  • Inspire greater interest in science, innovation and technology
  • Place the societal significance of science in its proper perspective
  • Deepen perception and creative thinking for science
  • Anchor the principles that build and strengthen international understanding
  • Promote excellence in science.

The successful ScienceSpheres provide the opportunity for students (high school, college, university), educators (teachers, guidance counselors, student teachers, parents), and the general public to access the world of the new sciences and emerging technologies, and prepare them for the 21st century by linking innovative ideas to new knowledge for new skills and careers.

Program contributors are scholars, scientists and engineers of national and international distinction, graduate students, representing advanced education, the humanities and social sciences, as well as public life and industry.

As speakers, members of the PAEP Advisory Council and contributors to the Canadian International Youth Letter, they share their knowledge and experience. Their scientific, cultural and social ideas for the world and future generations help build our linkages, networks and partnerships across Canada and the international community.

Their contributions to PAEP Activities and Initiatives are vital to the advancement of the Objectives.

The Canadian International Youth Forums are:

  • Researched, planned and designed with a focus on building Canada’s scientific, technological and human resources for the development and expansion of new sciences and technologies through its most precious asset - youth.
  • Committed to intellectual and professional excellence, and to community engagement.
  • Promoted and advanced in collaboration with national and international partners in education, and organizations of a similar mandate to ensure that the programs and initiatives have the broadest impact with sustainable benefits to Canada and the international community.

PAEP receives requests for the forums from teachers, students and parents. Schools encourage their students to attend. The public trust placed in the community programs have made them a quality curriculum aid and career guidance. PAEP's programs and initiatives have gained national and international recognition.

The Canadian International Youth Forums are promoted advanced through:

Additional links:

A message from the Rt. Hon. Lester B. Pearson and the Rt. Hon. Jean Chrétien.

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