Hamis Hegazy


Bachelor of Science, Specialization Chemistry, 2nd year

Course: CSL 100 (Winter 2023) with Instructor Jay Friesen

Who was your community partner and can you describe the project objectives

My community partner this semester was with Skillcity Institute. The main goal of Skillcity Institute is to enhance career education and skill development for youth and adults in underrepresented and marginalized communities in STEM fields to achieve economic success. Skillcity Institute offers a mesmerizing experience at STEMCEL, which stands for STEM and Career Exploration Lab. It is a designated space for youth to explore careers in STEM fields through technologies, which provide youth with knowledge required for their future careers. The lab offers a great opportunity to check out multiple fields in STEM, so that the individual gets insight about all careers. 

The project with my community placement was to create engaging content on their social media platforms and website to educate and captivate Skillcity audience. My hope after finishing this project is to eliminate STEM field barriers and encourage youth regardless of their socioeconomic status and background to consider a career in STEM. I worked with two other amazing students in CSL 100 in this project who had great ideas on how to make Skillcity’s Instagram page more engaging. We posted weekly STEM Fun Facts on Instagram using plain language while defining any unfamiliar scientific words to ensure all Skillcity audiences understand the fact. The goal of those posts is to demonstrate to youth and adults what STEM careers have to offer and to discover their potential. Additionally, my group and I will create a short video in an interview format, where we will ask University of Alberta students various questions about STEM whether they are pursuing a STEM related degree or not. Two of our questions are: “What does STEM mean to you?” and “What advice would you give to everyone thinking about pursuing a STEM career path?”

What was your biggest takeaway from your CSL placement

The biggest takeaway from Skillcity CSL placement is that helping just one individual achieve their goal will create a ripple effect to motivate other individuals to reach their full potential and goals. My supervisor in my community placement described ways my group and I can do in the project to encourage young minds to pursue careers in STEM. One way is to have an open mind about issues that impact our future generation. I want to eliminate educational barriers and allow anyone and everyone to receive education in STEM and other fields regardless of their socioeconomic status.

Combining the lessons I learned from Skillcity and from CSL 100 lectures, I realized that STEM education is beneficial to know at a young age to shape youth into well-rounded individuals and to prepare them for their future careers. I want youth to showcase that preliminary knowledge in their degree and employment. Working with my group in this project really made me feel that sense of a connected community, as all three of us had the same goal in mind in Skillcity: enhance the social media platforms to reach as many audiences as possible. My community placement allowed me to reflect on real world issues that surround us in our daily lives. Our community reaches its full potential when everyone has access to things they need such as education. This experience was very rewarding for me because I was making a positive difference in my community.

How can you apply any newly gained knowledge/skills to your future endeavours (courses/employment/volunteering)?

I want to use this gained knowledge in the future to implement long lasting change in education for my community. Towards the end of my project, I realized that individuals closest to me in my own community may not have access to education on STEM. This accessibility issue made me eager to work even harder to reach as many people as possible. It is what individuals are willing to learn that should impact what they do in their future careers and not their background. During my third year, I want to take the CSL 200 course to stay connected and involved in my community. Skillcity influenced my sense of community; it made me want to continue to make continuous differences. As well, I want to pursue a degree in pharmacy after I complete my prerequisite courses. I will use my gained knowledge in my future employment by raising awareness about STEM careers. Being a minority in Canada myself, I strive to be a woman in STEM. Skillcity taught me the importance of acquiring as much knowledge as possible to achieve my academic goals. Additionally, over the summer time, I hope to volunteer in pharmacies across Edmonton city by shadowing pharmacists. In my volunteering, I hope to gain even more knowledge about STEM to help me reach my own full potential just like Skillcity does with youth and adults in our community!