FINDINGLIFE – Interactive adventure learning platform for K-12 youth
What is FindingLife?
FindingLife is an interactive learning platform, founded by award-winning filmmaker Elia Saikaly, that combines adventure, technology, education, and charitable initiatives to inspire positive change in Canadian youth.
From the safety of their classrooms, students embark on real-time adventures and use social media technology to communicate and actively participate in the FindingLife expeditions. From the world’s tallest peaks to remote villages in Africa, students not only actively participate in unique learning opportunities, but they’re also able to make a tangible difference in the lives of others through fundraising campaigns facilitated by the platform.
Past FindingLife expeditions and campaigns have enabled Canadian students to raise money for a well in Kathmandu, classrooms in Kenya, an orphanage in India and most recently a new school in the village of Banakhu after the recent Earthquake on April 25th, 2015 where over 9000 people lost their lives.
Students participate in real experiences, learn from inspiring adventurers and are able to connect with communities and cultures in various parts of the world. They’re able to put into practice characteristics such as empathy, optimism, teamwork, co-operation, perseverance and determination. FindingLife not only inspires students, but also engages teachers, entire faculties, parents and communities at large.
One of FindingLife’s highlights was an interactive adventure to the summit of Mt. Everest where 20, 000 Canadian school children followed daily from the safety of their classrooms. Founder and filmmaker, Elia Saikaly filmed every step of the journey and shared it all in real-time from the slopes of the highest mountain on Earth. Students were able to communicate live and participate in the learning adventure.
FindingLife’s mission is to inspire positive change in Canadian youth by bringing the world into their classrooms. Educate. Inspire. Empower.
What inspired the platform?
In 2005, Elia Saikaly was making a film about his mentor Dr. Sean Egan’s mission to become the oldest Canadian to scaled Mt. Everest. Sean tragically died during production and never reached the summit. He carried a message for Canadians to live healthy, happy, meaningful lives. Never having climbed a mountain before, Elia Saikaly decided to honor Sean’s life and create a legacy project. What began as a tribute film evolved into an interactive educational platform aimed at inspiring Canadian youth. The carefully selected expeditions help shape students into becoming responsible global citizens. They’re encouraged to discover and live their passions, reach their full potential, live a meaningful life by chasing their dreams and contributing to make the world a better place.
“My experiences with Elia and his expeditions provided the most meaningful learning and the most student engagement of anything we were ever part of. The connection that Elia is able to create with students provides a spark that takes learning to a new level.”
Todd Saunders – Teacher
“I was amazed at how engaged my students were in Elia’s journeys. No other project ever inspired my students to write as much as when they wrote letters to Elia or responded to his blogs. As a teacher, it was exciting to have an authentic project to follow with my class that incorporated so many levels of learning.
Lesley Kathnelson – Teacher
How is IRF helping?
An enhanced 2.0 version of the FindingLife platform is now being designed and built thanks to the generous support of the Inti Raymi Fund. Imagine an enhanced technological eco-system where students can experience and be a part of exciting meaningful adventures like never before. Virtual reality technology will be implemented into the platform placing students almost anywhere on Earth. Not only can they view 360-panoramic photos and exciting web episodes that are broadcast in real-time, but they also can connect live and interact with adventurers using their smart phones and tablets. This advanced technology is dubbed as the ‘ultimate empathy machine’ placing students in areas they’d never otherwise visit. They will meet communities abroad, learn about other cultures, make a difference in the lives of others and be inspired to take action offline in their own lives.
Fundraising campaign technology is also going to be integrated into the platform enabling students to support humanitarian causes in the countries in which our adventurers travel. An external app for ios will also be designed to bring all of the rich meaningful adventure learning content right into the hands of the student via their smart phone.
This new platform takes learning to incredible new heights and would not otherwise have been possible without the generous support of the IntiRaymi Fund.
FindingLife is free for students and teachers to use and is scheduled to beta-launch in September 2016.
Learn more about the founder Elia Saikaly at Elia Saikaly
Bringing two world’s together – a Canada/Kenya Video:
Start Date: May 2016
Completion Date: May 2020
Funded so far: $37,600 USD
Total Project: $37,600 USD
Lives Affected: 1,000
Chaski, Chimu & Elia