Gifted Outreach Conference

On Monday, December 19, 2016, seven Calvin Christian School students were invited to attend the annual Gifted Outreach (GO) Conference, held at Redeemer University College. The conferences is also attended by dozens of students from the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board. We have been blessed to have the opportunity to send students as well. Since we are limited to the number of students that we can actually send, we carefully try to identify students who might have an interest in the topic and be comfortable working with students from other schools. This year topic was The United Nations 17 Goals for Sustainable Development.

Below are the student reactions to their participation in this conference:

On December 19th, 2016 I was one of the five grade eights that were invited to the GO Conference at Redeemer University. I liked it a lot although they spelled my name wrong with two s’s in Isaac instead of 2 a’s. We met with students from all over Hamilton and got their views on different subjects. After being divided into groups we thoroughly discussed the problems that society faces today. We thought about the different problems and tried to solve them. Our group was tasked with trying to find a solution to inequality. At the beginning of the “group time”, the leaders did experiments and informed us what inequality was, then they provided examples. Half of the group received a ribbon, which allowed us to sit wherever we wanted, even going so far as to being allowed to kick other people out of their seat. Then those of us who had a ribbon could eat as much candy as we wanted (they gave the rest some later). We understood how inequality can easily occur. After that, we were faced with getting a good answer to how we could solve the inequality problems in our world. We discovered that inequality usually occurs when one group is given more opportunities than another group. We discussed possible solutions in dealing with inequality mainly connected to job creation. We spent some time refining our ideas, knowing that we would have to present them to the larger group later. After a short lunch break, we gathered in the big auditorium. We sat together in our separate groups and each group presented their “problem” and their possible solutions to the problem. Other topics included environmental concerns, gender equality, sources of energy and healthcare. We then said goodbye and left and went back to our schools.

Isaac W
~ Isaac Whitehead

I had so much fun at the Go Conference on December 19. I got to meet new people who thought the same way I do. They had an interest in the world and wanted to fix it. The topic for the conference was, United Nations Goals For Sustainable Development. There are seventeen goals, and each group got to study one. My group focused on life below water. We studied the effects of human development on water, mostly the Great Lakes. We made a “road trip” starting in Hamilton, and ending in Thunder Bay. We studied over-fishing, algae blooms, pollution, and garbage disposal into bodies of water. The conference overall, was extremely informative and I wish I could have studied all seventeen goals. I strongly recommend it for future years.

Hannah W
~ Hannah Whetstone

The Go Conference was very informative because we learned about the 17 U.N. goals of sustainable development. The goal my group focused on was reduced inequality. This means that we tried to make an ideal town where everyone in the town had equal opportunity to do and be what they wanted to be. There were also activities where we would get to experience the inequality and get to know one another.

Tim S

~ Tim Schoon

On Monday Dec. 19, 5 eighth and 2 seventh graders from CCS attended the Gifted Outreach program at Redeemer. Once we got there we were split into groups. Each group was researching one of the United Nations Goals for Sustainable Development, which was our topic that year. My group was looking at Life Under the Sea. After a short introduction we split up into our group to do workshops for the morning. My group looked at pollution in our oceans and from there we researched specific provincial parks and found all sorts of things going wrong and how people are fixing the problem. After a quick lunch we gathered in the auditorium where we presented what we had learned. We got to see what the other groups had learned and we got to share what we learned. All in all, it was a enriching opportunity and a very fun day.

Karis S
~ Karis Schoon

My experience at the GO Conference was one to remember. The GO (Gifted Outreach) Conference is a conference that takes place annually at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario. Yearly, there is a specific theme that the conference is focused on. This year the theme was United Nations Goals for Sustainable Development. In a nutshell, the United Nations has cooperated and made 17 goals that they wish to achieve in upcoming years. We were split into nine groups that focused on one of the 17 goals.

My group focused on Life Below Water (Goal #14). We focused on how we could keep ecosystems going and how to protect wildlife in the bodies of water around the world. The way we did this was by creating a road trip passing through different conservation areas situated around the Great Lakes. We were divided into five smaller groups among our group to focus on a specific provincial park.

My group did Killarney Provincial Park and we focused on invasive species in that park. The two invasive species that we concentrated on were Zebra mussels and Phragmites. Zebra mussels are a type of underwater mussel that cling to objects such as pipes and ships and slowly destroy them. Phragmites are large weeds that spread toxins to surrounding plants and grow out of control. Everyone presented their road trip destination to the whole group and an environmental issue affecting an attraction at the destination.

After that, we were told that we had to present to all nine of the different groups on what we had learned. Two volunteers were selected, I being one of them. We had some time in lunch to prepare for the presentation.

We presented in front of the nine groups and told them about invasive species such as the previously mentioned zebra mussels and phragmites, pollution and water mysteriously draining out of Georgian Bay. We discussed solutions that we had found.

Overall, I enjoyed this conference very much and found it to be very beneficial to my knowledge. Young people hold the keys to changing the world for our generation and generations to come and I can’t wait to see what comes out of this.

Oyin A

~Oyin Aderibigbe

I enjoyed the opportunity me and some of my fellow CCS students had to go to the GO Conference on Monday, December 19. We went to Redeemer University College and engaged in a number of workshops involving the United Nations sustainable living goals. Before the workshops, we came together in the auditorium and talked about the day ahead of us. We also talked about what sustainable living really meant. The conclusion that we came to, at least the one I understood, was that sustainable living meant living that could go on forever. After that we went into our separate workshops. The workshops covered topics like clean running water, responsible consumption and production, sustainable cities and communities, and the workshop I was in, life underwater. We were focusing on Provincial Parks near the Great Lakes. They split us up into groups and we decided what park we would focus on. We then explained the good parts about it. After that we were supposed to explain the pollution or something else wrong with the water in the park. Then we described something that could be done about it. After our workshops, we got back together in the auditorium and shared what we had learned. The conference was a great opportunity and we all had a great time. 

~Eli Schat