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Environmental conference brings together high school, UTSC students

 

An environmental conference at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) will aim to educate and engage young people on important environmental issues.

The Our World, Our Responsibility conference will bring together students from UTSC, Centennial College, UOIT as well as Toronto-area high schools for a one-day event that will cover a wide range of topics concerning the environment.

“We hope this event will not only increase the students' knowledge of many current environmental issues, but also promote an awareness and familiarity with our campus and the environmental science community at UTSC,” says Mandy Meriano, a physical and environmental science instructor at UTSC.

In addition to a keynote address there will be 16 workshops held throughout the day with topics including deforestation, clean water, careers in environmental studies, healthy foods and nutrition, natural cosmetics, green washing, healthy lifestyles and environmental activism.

Facilitators will keep notes and provide a link for participants to develop action projects to address specific environmental issues raised during the workshops and also provide volunteer information to students on organizations who do work on those specific areas of interest.

The idea to hold a conference originated at the environmental council of Blessed Pope John Paul II CSS (BPJP) in Scarborough. The local high school is heavily involved in many environmental initiatives, notes teacher and conference organizer Christopher Clovis.

“Our council was looking for a forum to educate and engage high school, university and college students on important environmental issues and to develop action plans to address them,” he says.

The collaboration between BPJP and UTSC on the conference stemmed from a mutual interest in environmental science education, says Meriano.

She adds its importance extends beyond bringing together a diverse set of students to include communicating and establishing partnerships to build educational success and enhance student achievement.

The keynote speaker for the conference is journalist Andrew Nikiforuk who will address the issue of the Tar Sands and its impact on Canadians.

“Most students are totally unaware of the tar sands, so his address will clarify the major advantages and disadvantages of tar sand exploitation and provide ideas to raise awareness of this important issue. It promises to be an informative and engaging day,” says Clovis.

Our World, Our Responsibility environmental conference takes place May 18, 2012 from 8:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. at UTSC’s Science Building.

To register visit, http://ourworldourresponsibility.eventbrite.com/




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