Successful Start to K-8 Career Exploration Pilot Program

North Canoe Elementary Principal and Grade 4/5 Teacher David Wellingham hosted the first event of a multi-school, multi-grade Careers event last week.

School District 83, along with B.C.’s Education Ministry and the U.K. non-profit charitable organization Education and Employers, are working together on a pilot program to breakdown gender roles in the world of work. The project is seeking to raise children’s aspirations and broaden their horizons by connecting grade schools with inspiring, relatable role models from the world of work.

North Canoe Elementary Principal and Grade Four/Five Teacher David Wellingham explains the lesson to the students as the virtual presenters wait on line.

During the Friday morning session, Wellingham’s students connected with the lesson facilitators from London, England and two other B.C. participants via video conference. The class played “What’s my Job?”, where the students saw an adult on the screen and they had to ask questions to guess their career. The adults could only respond “yes” or “no”.

Although it took some time for the students to try to piece together what the panelist did, they eventually succeeded. One panelist was a Marine Service Technician while the other, a female, was a Heavy Equipment Operator. The panelists then talked more about their jobs while students asked questions. From there, the students spent the rest of the morning drawing their future occupation and then presenting it to the class. Overall, Wellingham described the event as “time well spent.”

North Canoe Student “Lilly” asks a question to the panelist.

Research from multiple agencies have proven the earlier children start exploring career options and occupations, the more motivated they are in working in school, especially on core subjects such as Math, English, Science and Social Studies. The research has also shown early career exploration is a great benefit for disadvantaged children. The next event takes place this week when Sandra Major’s Careers 6-8 class at Carlin with the final one taking place next week in Arwen Holmlund’s Kindergarten class at Parkview Elementary.

For those wanting to learn more about the program, they can contact SD 83 Career Education Coordinator George Richard at 778-824-1188 or email

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