The Take a Stand youth outreach program, founded by SFU Professor Emeritus Kermode and her partners, the creators of STAND film, is hosted within the SFU Faculties of Environment and Science. The program is specifically geared towards helping school educators achieve environmentally-oriented concept-based learning within a framework that aligns well with B.C.’s curriculum. Appropriate for both elementary and secondary school students (Gr. 3-12), the Take a Stand program was developed to share and treasure the natural beauty of B.C. with our youth, including its urban-nature areas and unique coastal wilderness, home to rich First Nations cultures, diverse and productive oceans, and an expansive intact temperate rainforest. As a learning tool, the team uses STAND film, an award-winning documentary film that uses surfing and stand up paddleboarding to showcase the ecological, cultural, and aesthetic value of the West Coast. New state-of-the-art film resources surrounding wildlife and ecological themes within the Great Bear Rainforest and Sea form part of our new educational content. Through school visits centered around STAND screenings, discussions with filmmakers, our Community Innovation Challenge contest, and interactive activities, we aim to foster environmental stewardship in youth across the province and empower students to become agents of effective social and environmental change in their communities. Last but not least, thanks to the generous support of our sponsors, we are pleased to offer this program completely free of charge to participating schools!

The Take a Stand program comprises:

  • Program introduction and inspiration-to-action components highlighted by Director & SFU Professor Emeritus Allison Kermode, including the goals and scope of the Take a Stand program, youth contests and opportunities for youth.
  • Interactive presentation on the Great Bear Rainforest, film screening of STAND or other films, and highlights of youth contest hosted by expedition leader Norm Hann, and Stand filmmakers Nicolas Teichrob and Anthony Bonello.
  • Opportunities to host Community Action Programs at schools that include graduate student mentors and lightening talks by local conservation organizations to encourage youth to take action on environmental issues in their own communities.
  • Experiential learning opportunities connected to wild salmon and wild salmon habitat within urban areas
  • A Community Innovation Contest launched in conjunction with the presentation tour challenges students to come up with new ideas and action projects to enhance environmental awareness in the public, combat climate change, reduce waste, or save at-risk wildlife. Student entries include artworks or short films, which help to communicate the youth action projects or campaigns, and contribute to public education on an environmental issue. Youth can enter under the general contest themes or they can develop projects to help save wild salmon (priority concern).
  • The tools that we use to engage youth and teachers include:

    • Science and ecology-based talks on Great Bear Rainforest
    • Contests - project-based learning, science literacy, art/film
    • Workshops - community organizations and science mentors
    • Interactive activities and presentations on environmental science
    • Films - conventional and virtual reality (wildlife and ecology)
    • Experiential learning and science-based policy challenges
    • Teacher and youth resources (films, VR/AR resources, salmon kit)
    • Advanced science education opportunities for youth

    To inquire about making a booking for your school, please contact: kermode@sfu.ca

    For a printable program brochure, click here.

    For a general report of our program's activities and successes, click here.

    Visit the “Contest” Section of the website for a description of the Community Innovation contest and download the word cloud of select projects to date.