Students in North Rustico, P.E.I. were given some help last week in finding their way through the messages they're getting via media and social media about the roles they're expected to play in society.

The one-day conference was presented by Women's Network PEI for junior high school students at Gulf Shore Consolidated.

"We don't want to tell them that their culture, or the things that they do or they say are wrong or bad, but we want them to go away with some critical thinking skills," said Pam Atkinson, Women's Network project co-ordinator.

The program specifically looked at some of the messages and images in pop culture and social media about what it means to be a man or a woman. Students also spent time expressing themselves through music and doing yoga and zumba.

Student Leah MacQuarrie said the pressure to look and be a certain way is huge, and conferences like this can help.

"We can learn that the media isn't what people are expected to be, but people do think that is what they're expected to be," said MacQuarrie.

The conference was held at two junior high schools last week, and the Women's Network is hoping to get funding to put them event on at other schools in the future.