A Hat Trick: NHL Future Goals, Toronto Maple Leafs & Schulich Leaders

February 2018

Friday, February 9, 2018 - Lambton Kingsway Junior/Middle School:

Part of the NHL's contribution to education is through a unique partnership with Everfi, an Ed-Tech company that provides STEM based software to middle and secondary schools across Canada to help students build their math and computer science skills in the classroom. The NHL Future Goals program has a larger mission of inspiring students to explore the STEM subjects by leveraging community visits by local NHL players. 

This month, two Schulich Leaders took the opportunity to enhance this program and provide some real-world examples of how STEM has advanced their own pursuits and the lives of others. Emma Mogus and Danny McInnis are no strangers to public speaking and motivating others to push themselves in the STEM disciplines and they also happen to be big hockey fans, so this partnership was a natural fit for these Schulich Leader ambassadors!

Danny McInnis, a 2015 Schulich Leader at U of T pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering is a STEM innovator and lifelong hockey player and fan. He has developed and patented a better concussion-resistant sports helmet to all products on the market and is exploring ways to bring this technology to the masses to help address this systemic issue in contact sports. A self-taught inventor, Danny gave the students a glimpse of how to develop STEM skills by accessing tools online while using their interests to guide, explore, create and take risks with STEM pursuits; especially when time is at a premium as they enter their teenage years. 

Emma Mogus, a 2016 Schulich Leader at McMaster University is pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Physics. She has Invented a revolutionary tongue interface communications device that can be used to help those with spinal cord injuries or diseases such as ALS, navigate a computer with a hockey mouth-guard. This invention was actually featured on Jimmy Fallon last year! Emma is also the Co-Founder of Books With No Bounds and much like Danny, Emma is an ideal role model for these young students beginning to realize their potential in STEM subjects.

Emma provided key examples of how to get yourself engaged through extra-curricular initiatives and how STEM exploration was relevant in many of her pursuits to address societal challenges. 

At a time when our country needs to address and remedy the shortfall of women entering the STEM fields, it was reassuring to witness two young aspiring STEM students ask for Emma's autograph on their Leafs jerseys after her presentation. There is no doubt that Emma and Danny's abilities and contributions to Canada are worthy of these youngsters adulation!

What made this initiative effective, and much like other incredible outreach organizations like STEM Kids Rock or Let's Talk Science, is the notion of leveraging youth ambassadors to serve as educators and role models in order to relate to their subjects. This was a great day to test this theory on the students at Lambton-Kingsway in what served as the beginning of Schulich Leaders acting as STEM community ambassadors alongside NHLers!

Click on the image below to see a recap of the day's activities featured on Leafs Nation Network and hosted by Danielle Emmanuelle.