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Leadership by Design

Pursue STEM

See yourself in STEM

Pursue STEM, a new outreach program that encourages and supports Black students interested in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) launched in March 2021.

Pursue STEM is delivered in a partnership between Leadership by Design (LBD), U of T’s Office of Student Recruitment, and the Department of Physics.

LBD will recruit high-achieving Black Grade 10 students from the GTA with an expressed interest in STEM for this program. The program will run from March-August with activities roughly twice a month. Each year a new cohort of Grade 10 students will enroll, and the earlier cohorts would continue in the program from grade 11 to first year university.

The following departments from the University of Toronto Faculty of Arts and Science are contributing to this initiative as well: Astronomy and Astrophysics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth Sciences, Mathematics, School of the Environment, and Statistics.

Students have been participating in workshops and activities on topics such as artificial intelligence, black holes, climate change and number theory.

What is Leadership by Design (LBD)?
The Pursue STEM program is delivered in partnership with the Lifelong Leadership Institute (LLI) which offers the Leadership by Design (LBD) program. The LBD program provides innovative leadership development opportunities to promising Black youth in the Greater Toronto Area. Students enter the LBD program in their Grade 10 year and progress lockstep through subsequent grades as a distinct cohort. Hence, the LBD program is a multi-year and multi-layered program.

The closing event for the 2020.2021 program was held in August 2021

The event consisted of a keynote talk from physics alumni Julius Lindsay and students presented their Capstone Projects.

For their projects, students were asked to use their Arduinos and what they learned through activities from the various physical sciences to develop a tool, gadget or technology to aid in their survival and/or to make living through a pandemic easier. The winning groups designed a “smart mask” and a “re-fill itself water bottle” and they will present their results at the Canadian Black Scientist Network conference in January 2022.

Please see below for the videos of the winning presentations:

Refill Itself Water Bottle
Smart Mask
COVID Risk Investigation

Photos from the Pursue STEM workshops

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Follow Pursue STEM on Instagram - Pursue_STEM

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More information on LBD can be found here:

Students in Grade 9 can apply to the LBD Program here:

Read more on Pursue STEM in an article in Arts and Science News here:
Pursue STEM Arts and Science Article


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