Six hubs across Canada hosted a series of roundtables in their cities, at the invitation of the Let’s Talk Science Canada 2067 initiative. Embracing that “hindsight is 20/20,” these dialogues aimed to bring together participants from the millennial demographic, to offer their unique perspectives on K-12 education in the context of a new vision for a pan-Canadian STEM learning framework.
It is recognized that “technological change will have a significant impact on job creation and displacement, skills gaps, education and gender gaps” (WEF, 2016). As the pace of progress quickens, and job requirements become more complex and specialized, the need to prepare future generations for entry into a job market that is marked by precarity and uncertainty is of tremendous importance.
Furthermore, in a time when most Canadian youth disengage from STEM studies before high school graduation, we need to better prepare them for a future where disruptive technologies and changes in the labour market will reward highly skilled workers. A grasp of science, technology, engineering and math will allow future generations to develop into critical thinkers, discoverers, entrepreneurs and problem solvers.
As computerization and digitization prompt present occupations to adapt and new professions to spawn, the composition of talents required to satisfy them are changing, and they will continue to change. These necessary competencies, from critical thinking to digital literacy, have been explored in considerable detail by Let’s Talk Science, the World Economic Forum and other agencies. Therefore, the focus of these roundtables will be to explore the behaviours of learning necessary for efficient adaptation to ever-changing job requirements. By encouraging reflection on the outcomes of schooling in the context of present circumstances, we will shed light on aspects of the most effective learning and teaching mechanisms for preparing young people for the future. These insights will be included in a national action plan for STEM learning.
By engaging nearly 250 millenials across 6 Canadian cities, supporting the Canada 2067 initiative marks the first major pan-Canadian Global Shaper project, enlisting the participation of hubs in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax. Partnerships between hubs and Let's Talk Science were forged, and local partnerships with organizations like Science World at the TELUS World of Science in Vancouver were strengthened.