Bot battles, tech scavenger hunt and cool careers await youth at the #BCTECH Summit

B.C.’s next generation of tech talent will be inspired by 13-year-old tech prodigy Tanmay Bakshi, and can explore career opportunities in an augmented reality scavenger hunt at Youth Innovation Day at the #BCTECH Summit.

“This generation represents tomorrow’s software developers, technology entrepreneurs, and innovators,” said Premier Christy Clark. “B.C.’s technology sector is growing fast, which means incredible career opportunities for these students, and the chance to build a career right here at home.”

Today approximately 1,500 B.C. secondary and post-secondary school students will discover the technology programs available from colleges and universities, hear inspiring tech leaders share how technology is changing the world and meet representatives from innovative innovative technology companies in British Columbia.

Students will hear thirteen year-old Tanmay Bakshi, honorary IBM Cloud Adviser, share his personal story of learning to code from age five, and how he developed his first iPhone app by the time he was nine years old.

Karina LeBlanc, former Canadian soccer goalkeeper and UNICEF Ambassador, will host the morning youth session along with Lane Merrifield, co-founder of educational engagement platform Fresh Grade and Disney’s virtual game Club Penguin. A morning scavenger hunt will transform technology career exploration into a game for the students, using QuestUpon’s augmented reality mobile app. The game will encourage students to connect occupations and skills with tech industry sub-sectors, and interact with over 40 exhibitors throughout the summit.

Bot Battles PR ImageAwake Labs CEO Andrea Palmer and ShareShed Founder Daniel Dubois will talk with students during a noon-hour fireside chat, highlighting exciting career opportunities in B.C.’s technology sector.

The #BCTECH Summit compliments the #BCTECH Strategy, which is a key component of the BC Jobs Plan to support the growth of B.C.’s vibrant technology sector and strengthen British Columbia’s diverse innovation economy. The multi-year strategy includes a $100-million BC Tech Fund and initiatives to increase talent development through new curriculum and coding, and market access for tech companies that is driving innovation and productivity throughout the province. For more information, visit: http://bctechsummit.ca

Quotes:

Amrik Virk, Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services –

“Tech is about the future, and today is about highlighting the potential of our youth. We’re aiming to show kids how cool and diverse these career options are in an interactive and engaging environment with aspirational speakers that will get them thinking.”

Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism, and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour –

“Every company today is a tech company. It is so important that our young people learn as much as possible about the future career options they will have to choose from. And what better way to learn than from some of the most innovative speakers and companies in the world.”

Mike Bernier, Minister of Education –

“We’ve set the stage for tomorrow’s talent in the #BCTECH Strategy by establishing coding for the K-12 curriculum and placing an increased emphasis on co-ops at the post-secondary level. The #BCTECH Summit makes post-secondary education and career exploration fun and engaging, encouraging students to consider their future place in the tech sector.”

Tammy Meyers, QuestUpon Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer –

“We saw Youth Innovation Day as the perfect opportunity to show off our social augmented reality platform by turning the #BCTECH Summit into a game. That way youth will be challenged to interact with all the different exhibitors while getting to explore independently and with other students.”

Tanmay Bakshi, Honourary IBM Cloud Adviser –

“I believe that we need to be introducing coding to kids, and what I usually say is that we have to start slow, start easy and start playful. Kids should do what they want to do. Don’t do it because you have to do it, but do it because you want to. If we can get the youth interested in technology, then I believe we can be ready for that next generation.”

Quick Facts:

  • Nearly half of the day’s youth participants will visit the #BCTECH Summit from Vancouver Island, the Interior and northern B.C.
  • B.C.’s tech sector employment eclipsed 100,000 for the first time in 2015, rising 2.9% to 101,780.
  • Technology salaries are 75% higher than B.C.’s industrial average and 7% higher than the Canadian average.

Learn More:

#BCTECH Strategy Update: https://bctechstrategy.gov.bc.ca/app/uploads/sites/10/2017/03/Renewed_BCTechStrategy.pdf

#BCTECH Summit: http://bctechsummit.ca

BC Jobs Plan Update: http://bcjobsplan.gov.bc.ca

Profile of the British Columbia Technology Sector: 2016 Edition: http://www.bcstats.gov.bc.ca/StatisticsBySubject/BusinessIndustry/HighTechnology.aspx

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