ANTIGONISH: This May 10-12, 70 young people, ages 14-18, will come to StFX University to focus on leadership development in science and technology.

Co-hosting an annual leadership conference was an idea proposed by 4-H alumni studying at StFX. Now in its third year, conference organizers are looking forward to welcoming the community keynote speaker, Chemistry Professor Matthew Lukeman.

Community members are invited to join delegates to hear Dr. Lukeman’s presentation on May 10 at 7 p.m. in the Schwartz Auditorium. Dr. Lukeman won the Discovery Centre’s ‘Science Champion’ Award in 2017 for his engaging public lectures focused on demystifying the media’s many conflicting messages about chemicals.

On Saturday, youth delegates meet professors in science, math and technology to learn about the application of science in agriculture, industry and everyday life. Steve Matier of Maritime Launch Service in Canso will speak on the growth of the aerospace industry in Nova Scotia, and Peter Kikkert, who holds a Canada Research Chair at StFX, will discuss his research on Arctic exploration. Delegates will select from different hands on sessions offered by StFX faculty and students, and community members, such as taking a field trip to study salamander reproduction, coding an Arduino microcontroller to respond to its environment, or exploring how a state-of-the-art medical simulation lab is used to train nurses. Facilitators will introduce science and technology in an accessible, engaging format. By highlighting the breadth and significance of science and technology, organizers hope to tap into delegates’ interests and potential and inspire them to innovate.

Saturday night is a fun-filled night of team building exercises and skills competitions, and on Sunday morning, StFX students in the StFX 4-H Society and X-Project will facilitate the “Learn to Lead by Leading” workshop organized around the theme of citizen science.