Stantec supports Indspire through educational workshops for junior high students

March 26, 2019

We hosted an exhibitor booth and career-related workshops for a full day, displaying STEM and culture for inspired students who were ready to learn

We’re always looking for ways to create strong engagement with the communities we work and live in—and that includes meaningful collaborations with Indigenous peoples. Our goal is to find new ways to make significant contributions with our local and national Indigenous organizations, and one of the ongoing examples of this is through our sponsorship with Indspire.
Over the past 30 years, Indspire has invested in the education of Indigenous peoples. They have empowered thousands of students to dream big and work hard to achieve their greatest potential. Indspire is run and led by Indigenous peoples and serves First Nation, Inuit, and Métis students across Canada.
On February 21, 2019, Stantec took part in the 2019 Soaring Indigenous Youth Empowerment Gathering in Calgary, Alberta. At the event, we had an exhibitor booth where students could chat with employees about future career prospects. “The audience was junior high kids, and I think the entire day went well,” Will Dawson, Indigenous relations analyst in our Calgary office said. “Some of the students took our cards in hopes that they might reach out for career advice.” 
Along with the exhibition, Jessica Bekker, a renewable energy specialist in our Lethbridge, Alberta, office set up two career-related workshops for the students to participate in.
“I applied basic mathematics, geometry, and engineering behind tipi construction,” Jessica said. Having done this workshop for a number of school districts already, Jessica knew it was an interesting way to blend both Indigenous content, culture, and history with engineering and math. “I constructed a model tipi and went through the basic dimensions and components of the poles and covering,” Jessica said. “I was prompting the students to give me answers to basic geometric and math principles, which I find really helps with engagement. It helps students realize they can provide an answer.”
The two workshops brought in 115 participants. “The great thing about the workshops was that there was such high engagement,” Brittany Kubicz, promotional programs specialist from the Calgary office said. “There were numerous hands up and answers shouted out, so I could tell the students had a lot of fun with it. I also think it was beneficial that Jessica was able to tie it back to her culture.” Brittany noticed the true value of the workshops right away. “Students came up to Jessica to ask how she got into engineering, what courses they should be taking, and what tips she could give them. They were definitely inspired!” Brittany said.
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