Thursday, February 8, 2018

Leadership Opportunity - For Gr 10s only. Deadline is in one week

There is a leadership opportunity for Grade 10 students being offered through the Central Ontario Leadership Seminar (COLS).  Based on an application process here at IRHS, one grade 10 student can be selected to attend a three-day event from May 25th – 27th, 2018. The event is held at University of Toronto, Mississauga.  All expenses, except for transportation to and from the site, are paid for by sponsoring community clubs, corporate sponsors, and individual philanthropists.  Additional details will follow.

The goals of COLS are:

  • Encourage and prepare the next generation of Canada's civic, social and corporate leaders.
  • Provide young leaders with forums to learn "how" to think, not "what" to think, by offering independent and interactive opportunities for critical thinking.
  • Encourage personal growth by promoting positive thinking, goal setting and community involvement.

Feel free to visit their website at:

The application process includes a short essay on the following question:  “Write about a time you had to think outside the box. How did you do it? What was the result?”  

By Friday, February 16th, compose a 75-100 word answer to the question above and share it with Mr. Pearce.  A candidate will be selected from the submitted applications shortly after that time.  
Should you have any questions please feel free to ask.

Monday, February 5, 2018

15th Annual Hamilton Brain Bee at McMaster University
Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Time:  The competition will begin at 1pm.
Location:  Psychology Building (Building 34 on this map), McMaster campus, room 155.


How to prepare

High school students in the Hamilton-Halton and surrounding area from grades 9 through 12 are welcome to compete at the local brain bee.  Students demonstrate their knowledge about the brain and neuroscience, including fascinating topics involving intelligence, memory, emotions, sensations, movement, stress, aging, sleep, addiction, and more. Participating is a valuable experience that you can add to your resume — not to mention the possibility of winning prizes and fame!
All the questions will come from Neuroscience: Science of the Brain.
There are other resources that you might find useful and inspiring!
For example: Brain Facts and the Brain Facts Book


The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners will receive a plaque and cash prizes!  The 1st place winner’s name will be engraved on the Hamilton Brain Bee perpetual traveling trophy plaque and this plaque will be displayed in the trophy case at their school for one year.  The 1st place winner will also represent Hamilton at the Annual CIHR Canadian National Brain Bee May 26, 2018. Graduate students from our department will help the winner prepare for the national event.  Additional exciting prizes are awarded at the national competition each year.  The 2018 CIHR Canadian Brain Bee champion will win a trip for two to represent Canada at the International Brain Bee competition (details coming).
Please note that there are nearby local brain bee competitions held in WaterlooGuelph, and Toronto.  Students may not compete in more than one local brain bee competition each year, and must at the location that is closest geographically to their high school.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Encounters With Canada

February 11-17: Food and Technology!!

Get ready to find out what new ideas will bring food to your plate in the future!

Do you have a passion for innovation and using technology to solve global
challenges? The world will need 60% more food by 2050 and Canada needs young
people with fresh ideas to help meet the demand.

Sponsored by Farm Credit Canada, the week in Ottawa includes:
 Meet industry leaders, such as biotechnologists, sustainable food specialists
and agribusiness managers
 Go from laboratory to field to discover the great variety of tech and food

Other activities include:
 A guided tour of the City, a visit to the Parliament,
 Visit the Agricultural & Food Museum
 Connect with the future and visit the newly renovated Museum of
Science & Technology
 Skating on the Rideau Canada (weather permitting) where you can
taste Ottawa’s famous Beaver Tails

$100 off registration fees - Limited funds and spaces!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018


YMCA Youth Leadership programs help teens connect to and become involved in their camp community. They are designed to encourage greater independence and foster skills in collaboration, teamwork and leadership. Participants will learn more about themselves, while being supported by adult role models. Our Youth Leadership Programs are offered at two locations, and there is something for every teen!
*Free busing is available to and from Valens at 12 bus stops
Youth Leadership camp is perfect for your child if they:
• Enjoy unique opportunities to develop leadership skills
• Want to become a YMCA volunteer or staff member
• Are looking to obtain certifications to work with people
• Enjoy opportunities for overnight experiences
Leaders in Training (13-16 yrs)        $375/3 weeks
Weeks 1-3: Valens        Weeks 4-6: Valens        Weeks 7-9: YMCA
In this three-week program, campers will focus on developing leadership and team skills that can be easily applied to all facets of your life! Get ready to participate in team-building activities, group initiatives, active games and sports, and be involved in a group initiated community project. During the three weeks at camp, there will be a three-day, two night overnight camping trip.
Counsellors in Training (14-17 yrs)        $425/4 weeks
Weeks 1-4: Valens        Weeks 5-8: Valens
This fun and intensive four-week program will provide campers with the leadership skills necessary to become a camp counsellor. Some of the objectives of this program include learning how to work with children, understanding group dynamics, planning and facilitating activities, and learning how to be part of a camp team! This program also includes Emergency First Aid training. Upon completion of the CIT program, participants may have the opportunity to volunteer in one of our camps.
Wilderness Leadership Trip (12-14 yrs)        $850/3 weeks
Weeks 3-5: Jul 16-Aug 3
Mandatory Information Night: Tuesday, July 10
Wilderness Leadership is a great option for those that love the outdoors! Campers will spend the first 2-weeks getting to know each other, participating in group initiatives, democratic living, portaging, and the fun camp activities Valens has to offer. During the second week, there will be a double-overnight experience, and campers will be trained in Emergency First Aid & CPR.
During the last week of our Wilderness Leadership Development program, participants and staff will travel to YMCA Camp Pine Crest to start out their six-day, five-night tripping adventure to discover Ontario’s breathtaking Boreal forest, pristine lakes, and beautiful campsites set on ancient granitic rock. This trip is designed according to the group’s interests, goals and skill levels and is led by two of YMCA Camp Pine Crest’s skilled and certified staff. YMCA Camp Pine Crest’s staff are certified in Wilderness First Aid skills, paddling and tripping skills, and lifeguarding. Additional support and supervision will be provided by highly-trained YMCA of Oakville summer day camp staff.
Volunteering at YMCA Summer Camp
Do you want to change the life of a camper?
Why not volunteer at YMCA Summer Day Camp? Each year, many people give of their time and talent through volunteering at YMCA camps. For more information about volunteer opportunities please contact or visit our website at
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Youth Leadership Programs

YMCA Youth Leadership Programs provide a safe place for youth to develop team work, communication, creativity, and gain a deeper understanding for the Oakville community. Participants will work together to create and implement community building opportunities with the support of their mentors, while having fun and gaining new friends.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Speakers Idol 2018

Now in its seventh year, Speakers Idol has become a widely recognized student competition in the greater Toronto area. Every year, students from across the province enter the competition by submitting their written speech. The top 20 speeches are selected to the semi-final round, where students participate in a public speaking workshop and then present their speeches in front of a highly distinguished panel of judges and an audience of over 200 guests.

Simon Wiesenthal was a man who dedicated his entire life to pursuing justice following the Holocaust. The devastating impact of losing 89 members of his family drove him to ensure that future generations learn from the lessons of the past. “Freedom, is not a gift from heaven” said Wiesenthal – “you must fight for it each and every day”. Therefore, the onus is for the next generation of student leaders to look deep into the past in order to improve the world. Winners of Speakers Idol have been students who understand that to make the world a better place, they must take action.
Speeches must include Simon Wiesenthal’s famous quote: “Freedom of Speech is not freedom to propagate hatred”, and relate this quote to how they envision creating positive change in the world.

To apply, students must submit a three minute speech to by February 9, 2018 at 5:00pm

All speeches must be submitted in the following format:

  1. Word document, 12-point font and double-spaced
  2. Include a separate page with the following information: name, grade, address, phone number and email, school, teacher name and email address


  1. Speeches will be evaluated in two categories: Grades 6-8 and Grades 9-12.
  2. The top ten contestants from each category will be invited to participate in a Semi-Finalist round on March 4, 2018 followed by a finalist round on March 27, 2018.
  3. The Semi-Finalist round will include a workshop with award-winning debate team members from Ontario universities followed by a Finalist round where students will have a chance to present their speeches before a panel of celebrity judges. Grand prizes will be awarded.

PRIZES & AWARDS prizes will be awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners

For more information please contact us at or 416.864.9735 x 40

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Optimist Clubs of Halton Scholarship Opportunities

Grade 12s! Opportunity to win post-secondary scholarships: 
The topic for our Essay Contest this year is “Can Society Function Without Respect?”  Each student who is under the age of 18 as of October 1, 2017 who submits a 700-800 word essay to one of our clubs is eligible to win the club award and will then be entered into the District competition to win a $2500 scholarship. 

The topic for our Oratorical Contest this year is “Where are my Roots of Optimism”.  This contest is gives the students, under the age of 18 as of October 1, 2017  the opportunity to win up to $22,500 in scholarships if they advance to the World Oratorical Championship.

Optimist Club of Oakville contact Vicki; 
Essay contest deadline Jan 31, 2018 
Oratorical contest Deadline March 23, 2018

Optimist Club of Milton contact Keith, 
Essay contest deadline Feb 14, 2018 
Oratorical contest deadline March 23, 2018

Optimist Club of Burlington contact Denise, 
Essay contest deadline Jan 31, 2018 
Oratorical contest deadline March 23, 2018