Two weeks ago over 50 students from Nechako Lakes School District 91 secondary schools, including EBus Academy, attended the BCTech Summit in Vancouver. A highlight was trying out vitual reality hollographic goggles and remote ‘bot battling robot wars.
The BCTech Summit provided an opportunity to experience new, upcoming technologies in a broad spectrum of areas including gaming, automation, augmented reality, drones, electric cars, robotics, animation, software design, innovations in forestry, mining, healthcare, and much more.
Sagar Saxena, Nechako Lakes Community Engagement & Partnerships Officer and Manu Madhok, Assistant Superintendent, joined the students at BCTech but focused directly on networking and building connections for SD 91. “We are thankful to Ministry of Tech and Innovation for their funding support. Inviting youth to leading-edge technology events and sponsoring travel costs so that it is accessible, is really critical for socio-economic growth of our region” said Mr. Saxena.
“Trades and forestry have been the back bone of our regional economy for decades but times are changing and we must innovate and educate accordingly. Technology advancement is pivotal for growth and success in any business or industry. SD 91 is making sure our students here in rural B.C. get as much exposure as others living in urban centres like Kelowna, Kamloops and Vancouver.”
In his role with SD 91, Mr. Saxena works closely with Darren Carpenter, District Career Coordinator, to connect schools with a variety of community, provincial, and global partners to create real life vocational learning opportunities for students. SD 91 is planning several new initiatives and partnerships with organizations in technology innovation, research-based learning, entrepreneurship, agriculture innovation and many more growing sectors of industry. These project experiences will help students develop a broader mindset around different career options and create dual credit options for them as well.
“This also leads to rural youth retention,” says Mr. Saxana “if we develop the entrepreneurial mindset in our students then they can create many opportunities within our communities. We are working on formalizing several long term partnerships which will result in students getting involved in more hands on learning, knowledge exchange and generation, skills development, early age research experience to help broaden their career horizons.”
Mr. Sagar Saxena’s position at SD 91 is funded by the Ministry of Education and NDIT. He has an MBA in International Business & Global Marketing Strategies and brings much experience from prior roles incl. Operations Manager for Me to We Foundation and Research Project Officer for UNBC Partnerships, Innovation & Development.