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Illuminate x Durham - STEM Conference Overview

Hi everyone! My name is Ahrani Thillainadesan and I am a Grade 10 student at Agincourt Collegiate Institute. Today, I had the pleasure to attend Illuminate x Durham’s regional conference. Here are my thoughts highlighting what I learned about in today's conference. Today we had 2 great speakers from Illuminate Ilona Dougherty and Dr. Cecile Fradin. There were many important topics they have talked about but a few things that have stood out to me was when Ilona said "We see young people as incomplete". This sentence stood out to me since I relate it to it, as a child who grew up in a family where most adults will just think so lowly of me just because I'm in the younger generation. There will be some adults that will just think or even say to me, "oh the younger generation is so lazy we did this, we moved outside, we did so much". It would be very frustrating for me to hear this because the circumstances of where I grew up and adults grew up are different. So to think of young people as incomplete just because they don't have much experience or they never did the things as adults when they were younger is absurd. Another topic that stood out to me was when Dr. Cecile Fradin talked about stereotypes. For the past few years, changes are being made so women and men have an equal share in their salary, how they're treated, when and who's gonna take maternity leave, etc. Though there hasn't been much change mentally, when a woman is a mother of a family they have many things to think about but typically it would what would she cook, is the laundry done, do I need to clean, etc. All these tasks will just be assigned to women but it also creates a downfall for some women that would like to pursue their career more. The same goes for men, a father of a family working hard trying his best to provide for his family but also wants to spend time with his family, but unable to do so since he has a lot of work. There are different types of stereotypes and I am glad that Dr. Cecile Fradin talked about this since I never really thought of stereotypes affecting people mentally. There are many things that I have learned many things in this conference and now I have a different perspective on many things. Thank you Illuminate for this wonderful opportunity, I am hoping I'll be able to work with you guys again.


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