Tuesday, January 30, 2018


YMCA Youth Leadership programs help teens connect to and become involved in their camp community. They are designed to encourage greater independence and foster skills in collaboration, teamwork and leadership. Participants will learn more about themselves, while being supported by adult role models. Our Youth Leadership Programs are offered at two locations, and there is something for every teen!
*Free busing is available to and from Valens at 12 bus stops
Youth Leadership camp is perfect for your child if they:
• Enjoy unique opportunities to develop leadership skills
• Want to become a YMCA volunteer or staff member
• Are looking to obtain certifications to work with people
• Enjoy opportunities for overnight experiences
Leaders in Training (13-16 yrs)        $375/3 weeks
Weeks 1-3: Valens        Weeks 4-6: Valens        Weeks 7-9: YMCA
In this three-week program, campers will focus on developing leadership and team skills that can be easily applied to all facets of your life! Get ready to participate in team-building activities, group initiatives, active games and sports, and be involved in a group initiated community project. During the three weeks at camp, there will be a three-day, two night overnight camping trip.
Counsellors in Training (14-17 yrs)        $425/4 weeks
Weeks 1-4: Valens        Weeks 5-8: Valens
This fun and intensive four-week program will provide campers with the leadership skills necessary to become a camp counsellor. Some of the objectives of this program include learning how to work with children, understanding group dynamics, planning and facilitating activities, and learning how to be part of a camp team! This program also includes Emergency First Aid training. Upon completion of the CIT program, participants may have the opportunity to volunteer in one of our camps.
Wilderness Leadership Trip (12-14 yrs)        $850/3 weeks
Weeks 3-5: Jul 16-Aug 3
Mandatory Information Night: Tuesday, July 10
Wilderness Leadership is a great option for those that love the outdoors! Campers will spend the first 2-weeks getting to know each other, participating in group initiatives, democratic living, portaging, and the fun camp activities Valens has to offer. During the second week, there will be a double-overnight experience, and campers will be trained in Emergency First Aid & CPR.
During the last week of our Wilderness Leadership Development program, participants and staff will travel to YMCA Camp Pine Crest to start out their six-day, five-night tripping adventure to discover Ontario’s breathtaking Boreal forest, pristine lakes, and beautiful campsites set on ancient granitic rock. This trip is designed according to the group’s interests, goals and skill levels and is led by two of YMCA Camp Pine Crest’s skilled and certified staff. YMCA Camp Pine Crest’s staff are certified in Wilderness First Aid skills, paddling and tripping skills, and lifeguarding. Additional support and supervision will be provided by highly-trained YMCA of Oakville summer day camp staff.
Volunteering at YMCA Summer Camp
Do you want to change the life of a camper?
Why not volunteer at YMCA Summer Day Camp? Each year, many people give of their time and talent through volunteering at YMCA camps. For more information about volunteer opportunities please contact summercamps@oakville.ymca.ca or visit our website at ymcaofoakville.org/volunteer.
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Youth Leadership Programs

YMCA Youth Leadership Programs provide a safe place for youth to develop team work, communication, creativity, and gain a deeper understanding for the Oakville community. Participants will work together to create and implement community building opportunities with the support of their mentors, while having fun and gaining new friends.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Speakers Idol 2018

Now in its seventh year, Speakers Idol has become a widely recognized student competition in the greater Toronto area. Every year, students from across the province enter the competition by submitting their written speech. The top 20 speeches are selected to the semi-final round, where students participate in a public speaking workshop and then present their speeches in front of a highly distinguished panel of judges and an audience of over 200 guests.

Simon Wiesenthal was a man who dedicated his entire life to pursuing justice following the Holocaust. The devastating impact of losing 89 members of his family drove him to ensure that future generations learn from the lessons of the past. “Freedom, is not a gift from heaven” said Wiesenthal – “you must fight for it each and every day”. Therefore, the onus is for the next generation of student leaders to look deep into the past in order to improve the world. Winners of Speakers Idol have been students who understand that to make the world a better place, they must take action.
Speeches must include Simon Wiesenthal’s famous quote: “Freedom of Speech is not freedom to propagate hatred”, and relate this quote to how they envision creating positive change in the world.

To apply, students must submit a three minute speech to education@fswc.ca by February 9, 2018 at 5:00pm

All speeches must be submitted in the following format:

  1. Word document, 12-point font and double-spaced
  2. Include a separate page with the following information: name, grade, address, phone number and email, school, teacher name and email address


  1. Speeches will be evaluated in two categories: Grades 6-8 and Grades 9-12.
  2. The top ten contestants from each category will be invited to participate in a Semi-Finalist round on March 4, 2018 followed by a finalist round on March 27, 2018.
  3. The Semi-Finalist round will include a workshop with award-winning debate team members from Ontario universities followed by a Finalist round where students will have a chance to present their speeches before a panel of celebrity judges. Grand prizes will be awarded.

PRIZES & AWARDS prizes will be awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners

For more information please contact us at education@fswc.ca or 416.864.9735 x 40

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Optimist Clubs of Halton Scholarship Opportunities

Grade 12s! Opportunity to win post-secondary scholarships: 
The topic for our Essay Contest this year is “Can Society Function Without Respect?”  Each student who is under the age of 18 as of October 1, 2017 who submits a 700-800 word essay to one of our clubs is eligible to win the club award and will then be entered into the District competition to win a $2500 scholarship. 

The topic for our Oratorical Contest this year is “Where are my Roots of Optimism”.  This contest is gives the students, under the age of 18 as of October 1, 2017  the opportunity to win up to $22,500 in scholarships if they advance to the World Oratorical Championship.

Optimist Club of Oakville contact Vicki; vmins@gmai.com 
Essay contest deadline Jan 31, 2018 
Oratorical contest Deadline March 23, 2018

Optimist Club of Milton contact Keith, president@optimistclubofmilton.org 
Essay contest deadline Feb 14, 2018 
Oratorical contest deadline March 23, 2018

Optimist Club of Burlington contact Denise, dnacev@bell.net 
Essay contest deadline Jan 31, 2018 
Oratorical contest deadline March 23, 2018

Post-Secondary Scholarships

Good luck to all our Grade 12s in their post-secondary plans.
Here is a link for scholarships.

Monday, January 15, 2018

15th Annual Brain Bee Competition

2018 McMaster Brain Bee Competition

Mark this date on your calendar: Tuesday April 11, 2018
at 1 PM

More details to follow.

High school students in the Hamilton-Halton and surrounding area from grades 9 through 12 are welcome to compete at the local brain bee.  Students demonstrate their knowledge about the brain and neuroscience, including fascinating topics involving intelligence, memory, emotions, sensations, movement, stress, aging, sleep, addiction, and more. Participating is a valuable experience that you can add to your resume — not to mention the possibility of winning prizes and fame!
In 2017 all the questions came from Neuroscience: Science of the Brain.
There are other resources that you might find useful and inspiring!
For example: Brain Facts and the Brain Facts Book

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Think about Math! Workshop for Young Women

Think About Math! (TAM) is designed to ignite enthusiasm in high school girls for mathematics. It is a workshop demonstrating that math is fun, relevant, and leads to exciting careers.
TAM participants will learn about the lifestyles and career paths of women who have graduated with a degree in mathematics. Girls will also participate in interactive labs and hands-on activities. We will explore the mathematics behind topics like computability, security and digital photo applications like SnapChat. All sessions will be led by University of Waterloo faculty members and professional businesswomen and businessmen.

Intended Audience

Young women in grade 9 or 10 who are interested in learning about opportunities in mathematics.

Dates and Location

Successful candidates will be invited to attend one of the following one-day workshops.
  • Saturday April 7, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Toronto Prep School, 250 Davisville Ave., Toronto
  • Friday April 13, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Davis Centre, University of Waterloo
  • Saturday May 26, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Vancouver


Grade 11 Girls Engineering Conference

Are you a grade 11 girl who is curious about engineering? Want to see what university is like? Come to the University of Waterloo for an overnight girls conference in May!

This year's conference will be held April 27th to 29th, 2018. Spots are limited to 50 female students, so make sure you get your application in early for 2018!

Workshop in Computer Science for Young Women

The CEMC Workshop in Computer Science for Young Women exists to encourage young women, and people of other under-represented genders,* who are considering computer science as a career for the first time. It is a unique opportunity designed to ignite enthusiasm for computer science in interested students from across Canada who have had little or no previous exposure to computer science. Attendees learn that computer science is about much more than using and programming computers.

Intended Audience

We welcome applicants who are female or another gender identity under-represented in computer science*. Applicants must be in grade 9 and 10, have an interest in mathematics, and currently attend a Canadian high school or middle school. Participants should not have attended any similiar workshop.

Dates and Location

Saturday, May 12 to Saturday May 19, 2018 at the University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario.


There is a $150 registration fee, including applicable taxes, to be paid after invited applicants have received their confirmation package.
  • Accommodations, meals and other expenses for the week are included at no extra cost.
LINK to more information

Friday, January 12, 2018

The Toronto Star’s 40th annual short story contest is open for submissions

This year’s contest runs until 5 p.m. on Feb. 28.

The winner will receive $5,000 and a creative writing course from The Humber School for Writers.

The second-place winner will take home a $2,000 prize, while third place will be awarded $1,000.

The winner can choose a 30-week creative writing correspondence program, valued at $3,000, at Humber, or a week-long summer workshop, worth $1,000, at the college’s Lakeshore campus in Toronto.

Stories can be about any topic the entrant chooses, as long as it’s original, unpublished, and amounts to less than 2,500 words. Entries are limited to one per person.


Good Luck!!

High School Health Research Bursary Program for Gr 11 or 12 students

High School Health Research Bursary Program
Competition Closes: April 2 20184:00p.m.

An invaluable opportunity for top high school science students currently in grades 11 and 12 to apply for a seven-week summer internship placement program working alongside Hamilton world-class researchers and team members July 3  – August 17, 2018. This program provides students with an excellent opportunity to explore career options, expand their potential horizons and exposure to leading scientific minds in healthcare research, as well as receive a $1,500 bursary upon completion.  Students are required to submit an application, joint letter of nomination from a science department head and science teacher, a 1000-word essay on their academic and extracurricular accomplishments, as well as career aspirations.  Posted on the HSHRB program web page are the submission guidelines, application form and bursary publications.  

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Five Week French Language Program


Call for more info

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

UWaterloo Science Outreach

Science Outreach are excited to start 2018 with an event we haven't done before: a screening of a hot topic documentary, with the director in attendance and a panel session afterwards ! Which hot topic? Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

Food Evolution, a documentary directed by academy award-nominated Scott Hamilton Kennedy, investigates the facts and misconceptions around GMOs. It is narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson, who says "the film explores all the ways science has been used and abused in public discourse surrounding the genetic engineering of food. In a world of misinformation and disinformation, nothing can be more timely." We will have an introduction by the director, Scott Hamilton Kennedy. After the screening, there will be a panel discussion with the director and other informed perspectives: Carol T. Culhane, Dr. Maria Trainer, and Greg Hannam.

Date: Wednesday, January 17th
Time: Doors open 6:45pm, introduction by Scott Hamilton Kennedy 7pm, movie starts at 7:30pm, panel at 9pm
Location: University of Waterloo, Humanities Theatre, Hagey Hall
Cost: Tickets are $10 and are available at foodevolutionwaterloo.eventbrite.ca (a certain number of free tickets have been reserved for current Science students, who must register with code UWFOODEVO18 and bring their WatCard to the event)
Free parking will be provided in nearby Lot H, just across Ring Road from Hagey Hall. GRT stops are nearby at the University/Seagram intersection.Campus Map.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Leadership Opportunity - Gr 10s Only

There is a leadership opportunity for Grade 10 students being offered through the Central Ontario Leadership Seminar (COLS).  Based on an application process here at IRHS, one grade 10 student can be selected to attend a three-day event from May 25th – 27th, 2018. The event is held at University of Toronto, Mississauga.  All expenses, except for transportation to and from the site, are paid for by sponsoring community clubs, corporate sponsors, and individual philanthropists.  Additional details will follow.

The goals of COLS are:

  • Encourage and prepare the next generation of Canada's civic, social and corporate leaders.
  • Provide young leaders with forums to learn "how" to think, not "what" to think, by offering independent and interactive opportunities for critical thinking.
  • Encourage personal growth by promoting positive thinking, goal setting and community involvement.

Feel free to visit their website at: www.cols.ca

The application process includes a short essay on the following question:  “Write about a time you had to think outside the box. How did you do it? What was the result?”  

By Friday, February 16th, compose a 75-100 word answer to the question above and share it with Mr. Pearce.  A candidate will be selected from the submitted applications shortly after that time.  
Should you have any questions please feel free to ask.