Students for High-Impact Charity Secondary School Workshops in Vancouver

Students for High-Impact Charity (SHIC) helps any student who wishes to make an exceptional impact on the world. The SHIC program challenges students to ask not only “How can I make the world a better place?” but also, “How can I make the biggest possible difference?”

Our workshops consist of group activities, videos and discussions, and are designed to challenge students to think critically about their impact using evidence and reason, across a wide range of causes. Our program is completely free for schools. 

To register your interest email David Vatousios, our Vancouver educator on

SHIC educators are available to come to your Secondary School in Metro Vancouver to present the program to your students.

We have two set workshops: A general workshop and a mathematics workshop. 

The Workshops

SHIC General Workshop

Most suitable for
  • Leadership Groups
  • Social Justice 12
  • Philosophy 12
  • Economics 12 and AP
  • Human Geography 12 and AP
  • Social Studies 11
  • IB Theory of Knowledge 11 or 12
  • IB Creativity, Activity Service
  • Student groups interested in charity or global responsibility.

The full workshop takes 3 lessons, or there is a single lesson standalone workshop.

This workshop explores ethics and social responsibility, and how we can use evidence to make a large impact on the world. The emphasis is on what students can do now, and in their future careers, to make the largest positive difference they can.


Activities include:
  • “The Giving Game”, where the students are tasked with selecting the charity they deem as having the biggest impact. Students are given $5 of real money to donate to the charity they choose at the end of the activity.
  • Thought-provoking quizzes to bring out students’ misconceptions about the world.
  • Mind-bending ethical puzzles to explore obligations to others.
  • Videos and discussions on some of the world’s pressing issues such as global poverty, our treatment of animals, and threats to humanity from future technologies.

SHIC Mathematics Workshop

Most suitable for
  • Calculus 12 and AP

  • Pre-Calculus 11 and 12

  • IB Mathematics

  • Foundations of Mathematics 12
  • Specialist STEM classes


The full workshop takes 3 lessons, or there is a single lesson standalone workshop.

This program explores how mathematics is used to make a large impact on the world. The emphasis is on what students can do now, and in their future careers, to make the largest positive difference they can using their mathematical skills.


Activities include:
  • Using statistical testing methods to measure the impact of charities.
  • “The Giving Game”, where the students get numerical information about several charities and formulate an equation to compare the effectiveness of the charities. The students are then tasked with selecting the charity they deem as having the biggest impact. Students are given $5 of real money to donate to the charity they choose at the end of the activity.
  • Using an online app to calculate how rich they are compared to the rest of the world, with results that are surprising to most students!
  • Using graphs to reveal potential misconceptions they may have about the world.
  • Applying expected value calculations to compare different cause areas.

Why have SHIC come to your school?

With SHIC in your school, you’ll be joining a global network of students, teachers, and academic institutions who appreciate the importance of introducing students to a rational, evidence-based system for contributing effectively to society.

Our entire program is free of charge. The only cost is a few minutes of class time for students to complete pre- and post-workshop surveys. This helps us measure our impact, which is why we’re able to offer this workshop for free!

In Term Two and Three in 2018, SHIC ran workshops with over 800 students at Abbotsford, Britannia, Bodwell, BrainBoost, Cambie, Crofton House, Eric Hamber, Kenneth Gordon Maplewood, Kitsilano, Lord Byng, Prince of Wales, Seaquam, Seycove, Surrey Christian, Westside, and Van Tech.

How does the SHIC program benefit students?

  • Applying critical thinking to making the world better.

    SHIC reveals cognitive biases and misconceptions, showing students that their intuitions might not be as reliable as they’d like to think. Throughout the program, students learn key critical thinking skills that will allow them to question their preconceptions about themselves and the world. SHIC incorporates scientific ideas (such as randomized controlled trials), statistics and economics to explain how global initiatives use evidence to improve lives. 


  • Encouraging empathy.

    Through philosophical inquiry, students are exposed to new ideas about who and what they could care about, and are encouraged to develop their own ethical positions. Students consider how they could help those outside their immediate community, including those who live far away from them, animals, and those who are not yet born.


  • Empowering students.

    Young people can be bombarded by news reports about a multitude of serious issues in the world, so empathetic students can be faced with indecision about which problem to act on. SHIC provides a framework on how to prioritize causes, so students can decide the most impactful path for them.  Most students are surprised at just how great their impact can be.


  • Improving school fundraisers.

    The most effective charities are estimated to be between ten and a hundred times more effective at improving lives than the average charity. SHIC teaches students how to analyse charities and identify those that are outstanding. By focusing on high-impact charities, students can learn how to achieve a significantly greater impact with their fundraisers.


  • Guiding careers for good.

    SHIC contains activities dedicated to how students can heighten their impact through their studies and career choices. Often the most impactful paths are not all that obvious.


  • Make a difference.

    The most important reason to use SHIC in your school is that it changes lives. In the long term, this program may have a significant impact on your students beliefs and approaches to life, and collectively they could have a huge prosocial impact.

Get your school involved

To register your interest in having SHIC visit your school, contact David Vatousios, SHIC’s Vancouver Educator, on, or fill in this form:

Testimonials from Teachers

It was an incredibly engaging, informative workshop that gave students insights into career possibilities that they can choose to make positive changes in the world. They gave students the opportunity to think critically about issues.
Mercedes Fenyo
Teacher, Bodwell High School, North Vancouver
Catherine and David came to teach our alternative school and the presentation was incredible. Staff and students were thoroughly engaged, entertained and challenged throughout the class and I would strongly recommend this for not only other students, but also community groups, social advocates, workplaces and really anyone would benefit from this workshop
Markie Giammarino
Teacher, BrainBoost, Vancouver
Thank you SO much Catherine and David for coming to work with my students. Their feedback has been overwhelmingly positive as you present such important information in a non-judgmental yet informative way.

Stacey McEarchen
Teacher, Eric Hamber High School, Vancouver
Great information - you bring the students into the conversation in a meaningful way that is student-centred and they feel their opinion is valued. You have worked to make it as interactive as possible where every student is actively engaged - talking and thinking critically.
Teacher, British Columbia

Support the SHIC Workshop Experiment

SHIC is seeking funding to allow us to get out to more students, and conduct an experiment to measure our program’s medium-term impact on students. Go to our funding page for more information and to donate.