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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

TechUcation Conference


Thank you to everyone who attended in March, 2024. Please check back for information about our next conference.

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Engineering Outreach at Ontario Tech University is excited to host the spring edition of TechUCation on Sunday, March 3rd, 2024!

Admission is free, courtesy of Cancode, and attendees will have the chance to win educational door prizes.

This engaging conference will delve into the integration of current education practices with emerging technologies, focusing on utilizing existing tools to meet new curriculum standards and making tasks more efficient. Participants can choose two hands-on workshops led by our Engineering Outreach Coordinators to gain practical strategies for classroom implementation.

The event also features opportunities to interact with vendors and explore a variety of educational tools, enhancing your understanding of technology in education and how it can address teaching challenges. Join us to connect with peers and stay updated on the latest in educational tech.


Cost Per Participant: FREE
Location: Ontario Tech University 
Date: Sunday, March 3rd, 2024
Time Activity
10:00AM - 10:30AM Opening Ceremonies
10:30AM - 12:00PM

Workshop Session #1

  • Classroom Planning with ChatGPT
  • Introduction to Hands-On Programming
  • Meaningful Connections to Indigenous Worldviews with Technology
12:00PM - 1:00PM Lunch + Tech Explore
1:00PM - 2:30PM

Workshop Session #2

  • Classroom Planning with ChatGPT
  • Intermediate Hands-On Programming
  • Meaningful Connections to Indigenous Worldviews with Technology
2:30PM - 3:15PM Resource Sharing + Closing


Workshop Descriptions

  • Classroom Planning with ChatGPT
    • Presented by Alex Piliounis, B.ASc, B.Ed | Engineering Outreach Specialist

      AI tools such as ChatGPT and Bing have become more commonplace in the professional world, and have begun to change how those jobs are done. We’re going to look at how this could happen for teachers, starting right now.

      During this session, we will be doing some hands-on exploration of ChatGPT from the perspective of a classroom teacher. We will investigate how this AI tool can be used to create lesson and unit plans (with an emphasis on exploring planning for coding), support assessment and evaluation, and expedite various administrative tasks. We will also be investigating the output of ChatGPT, with the focus of critically assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the tool - enabling a discussion on how we can best make use of the tool, and how to decide when not to use it.

      Learning Goals:

      • Learn how to design prompts for Natural Language AI to get better outputs sooner
      • Critically evaluate the outputs of AI software with regards to education and the requirements of an Ontario Teacher
      • Use ChatGPT to approach topics we may not be comfortable with, including Engineering Design and Programming

  • Introduction to Hands-On Programming [MORNING ONLY]

    Presented by Avdon Racki, B.Eng | Engineering Outreach Program Coordinator

    This session will lay the foundational knowledge required to understand the basics of micro:bit, a tiny programmable computer designed to make learning and teaching easy and fun. We will start with a comprehensive overview of the micro:bit hardware, including its LEDs, buttons, input/output pins, and sensors. Following this, the focus will shift to coding fundamentals using the MakeCode editor, a user-friendly block-based programming environment. Educators will learn how to create simple programs that control the micro:bit's LEDs to display images and messages, use buttons to interact with their code, and explore the basic use of sensors for input. Through hands-on exercises, participants will build their confidence in coding and hardware manipulation, setting a solid foundation for integrating micro:bit into their teaching curriculum.

    Learning Goals:

    • Understand the basic hardware components of the micro:bit and their functions.
    • Learn how to navigate and use the MakeCode editor for block-based programming.
    • Develop simple programs to control the micro:bit's LEDs and buttons.
    • Gain familiarity with basic programming concepts such as conditionals.
    • Explore the use of sensors for interactive projects.
  • Intermediate Hand-On Programming [AFTERNOON ONLY]

    Presented by Avdon Racki, B.Eng | Engineering Outreach Program Coordinator

    Building upon the basics, this intermediate session is designed to deepen educators' understanding and skills in micro:bit programming. This session will introduce more complex coding concepts and the integration of external devices and sensors, enhancing the interactive capabilities of micro:bit projects. We will explore variables, loops, and conditional logic in greater depth, employing the JavaScript Blocks Editor or even touching upon Python for more textual programming experiences. Projects will include creating more sophisticated programs that can react to environmental changes, use wireless communication features to interact with other micro:bits, and control external devices through the micro:bit's pins. By the end of this session, participants will be equipped with the knowledge to design engaging, interactive lessons that foster problem-solving and computational thinking skills among their students.

    Learning Goals:

    • Deepen understanding of programming concepts with a focus on variables, loops, and conditionals.
    • Transition from block-based to text-based programming (JavaScript/Python) for more control and complexity.
    • Learn to integrate external sensors and devices to create interactive and multidimensional projects.
    • Explore the micro:bit's wireless communication capabilities for interactive projects between multiple devices.
    • Design and implement lesson plans that incorporate advanced micro:bit projects to stimulate students' interest in STEM.
  • Meaningful Connections to Indigenous Worldviews with Technology

    Presented by Hunter Johnson, B.HSc Candidate | Indigenous Program Coordinator

    For centuries, Indigenous peoples from across the world have utilized their connections with the land to make innovative, creative, and unique designs that have benefited their communities. Over time, this knowledge was often portrayed as inferior compared to Western Science and was not recognized in Colonial Institutions. However, in recent decades, colonial institutions recognized that many Western STEM topics have always existed amongst Indigenous peoples and in fact, colonial institutions are the ones catching up to Indigenous knowledge.

    During this session, teachers will have the opportunity to learn how to make meaningful connections between Indigenous worldviews and Western STEM education. Teachers will learn how to appropriately make connections to local Indigenous knowledge, while seamlessly integrating it into existing curriculum. Throughout the session, teachers will have the opportunity to partake in meaningful discussions, while also exploring ways the Engineering Outreach Indigenous STEM team has taught land-based programs. 

    Learning Goals: 

    • Recognize the value and significance of Indigenous worldviews in the context of STEM education, particularly in relation to connections with the land 
    • Identify and integrate Indigenous knowledge into existing STEM curriculum in a culturally appropriate manner 
    • Cultivate a deeper appreciation for the contributions of Indigenous peoples to STEM throughout history and in a contemporary context

Parking Information

Please use Founders Parking Lot 3, 4, or 5. The entrance to the SIRC building is facing Conlin Road. 



For more information on the conference, please email