Engineering Now .: Volume 4 - Edition 6 .: March 2008

Engineers Without Borders - The Ripple Effect: Leaders for Change

Students at the conference work together to come up with ways to promote fair trade.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Engineers Without Borders (EWB, Western Chapter) hosted a one-day leadership conference for London high school students interested in developing their leadership skills or learning about international development issues on Saturday, March 29, 2008. Titled “The Ripple Effect, Leaders for Change”, the event focused on fair trade, critical thinking and tangible actions high school students can take to lead more socially conscious lifestyles.

The conference featured a morning of interactive workshops that tackled issues of global citizenship and extreme poverty from new and exciting perspectives, followed by afternoon activities designed to teach new leadership skills.

Students from Beal, Medway, St. Thomas Aquinas and Wheable spent the first part of the day learning about the mandate of Engineers Without Borders, the root causes of poverty and the concept of fair trade. They were led through presentations and interactive discussions by volunteers from the Western Chapter of EWB.

After lunch, there were more activities, including a scavenger hunt and leadership workshops. The high school students, with help from their university counterparts, brain-stormed possible activities that they could implement at their own schools to raise awareness of the fair trade issue. The added challenge for the students was to design an activity that would go beyond just awareness and actually prompt their peers to alter their thinking and behaviour in some way.

After the group brain-storming session, the students broke off into smaller groups and set about actually designing and planning an activity that they might be able to do at their own schools.

To help drive the messages home, participants were also given handouts to take home with them, including information about where to purchase fair trade commodities, and short, inspiring biographies of young leaders who have tackled amazing feats.


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.: Becky Blue
Spencer Engineering Building, Room 2074
Telephone: (519) 850-2917 Fax: (519) 661-3808