More than 1,100 inquiring minds visited U of T Engineering on May 10 for Go North Youth — the largest science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) event in Canada for pre-university students.

The annual one-day event, hosted in partnership with Google Canada and Actua, empowers Ontario students in Grades 2 to 8 to build, explore and learn about the vast possibilities that open by studying and pursuing careers in STEM. This year’s theme of artificial intelligence (AI) gave students the opportunity to not only gain a better understanding of the power of AI, but also gain exposure to how ‘smart’ technology is built.

The agenda included experiential STEM workshops, AI coding activities, as well as demonstrations in ‘Innovate Alley,’ a circus of STEM activity located in the atrium of the Bahen Centre.

The day kicked off with opening ceremonies in U of T’s iconic Convocation Hall, featuring welcome remarks from The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science & Economic Development, and U of T Engineering Dean Cristina Amon, as well as a keynote from student quantum computing expert Tanisha Bassan and a live demo by movie prop maker The Hacksmith.

“Engineering is about turning imagination into reality,” said Amon. “While you are here, remember to keep your eyes open, to ask questions and try things you have never tried before.

Our country and our world need creative people like you, and I hope you will consider returning to U of T as engineering students one day.”

Prior to the opening ceremonies, Amon participated in a roundtable discussion on AI and how Canada can strengthen its AI ecosystem and prepare the next generation for the future of work. The discussion included policymakers and industry leaders such as Megh Gupta of Element AI, Natacha Mainville of Google Brain and tech expert Amber Mac.

Check out photos and social media moments captured from the day:

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science & Economic Development, at Go North Youth. (Photo: Roberta Baker)

(Photo: Roberta Baker)(Photo: Roberta Baker) (Photo: Roberta Baker)(Photo: Roberta Baker)

(Photo: Roberta Baker)(Photo: Roberta Baker) (Photo: Roberta Baker)(Photo: Roberta Baker)