Surviving the shake

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Surviving the shake

Toronto youth construct earthquake-proof buildings with the help of Let’s Talk Science volunteers; creations are tested using Quanser’s earthquake simulator

MARKHAM, Ont. – About 25 eager and innovative Grade 5 to 8 students from St. Francis de Sales Catholic School in North York today visited Quanser, a world leader in designing control systems for engineering educators and researchers, to construct earthquake-proof buildings with the guidance of Let’s Talk Science volunteers from the University of Toronto and Quanser staff.

Quanser, a passionate advocate of STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) for young students, is a corporate supporter of Let’s Talk Science, a national, non-profit organization dedicated to improving science literacy and bringing science to life for children and youth across Canada. Each year, Let’s Talk Science’s more than 2,600 outreach volunteers engage more than 120,000 kids across the country in hands-on science activities.

“This event showcases the value of corporate and non-profit partnerships that support science learning for young people,” says Bonnie Schmidt, President and Founder of Let’s Talk Science. “By bringing together post-secondary student volunteers from Let’s Talk Science with professional volunteers in the fields of science, engineering and technology, we can demonstrate to youth the variety of careers a science education can offer.”

Quanser employees visited students in advance of the challenge to introduce them to basic building design principles. Students then had the opportunity to plan out how they would design their structure. Upon arrival at Quanser, students constructed their buildings, which were then tested by Quanser’s “shake table II” – an earthquake simulator.

“Quanser employees are thrilled to engage youth in science and engineering – and most of all to show them the practical applications of science education,” says Paul Gilbert, CEO of Quanser. “Our partnership with Let’s Talk Science allows us to reach out to youth in ways that wouldn’t have otherwise been possible.”

The Ontario Ministry of Education conveyed support for Let’s Talk Science’s programs and services. "Our government is proud to partner with Let's Talk Science to show students how a science education can open up a world of opportunities," said Minister of Education, Leona Dombrowsky. "Through fun and engaging activities that demonstrate the real-world influence of science, Let's Talk Science is helping inspire Ontario's future scientists, engineers and innovators."

Ontario Deputy Minister of Education, Kevin Costante, joined the students at Quanser to share greetings from the ministry.


Media Contact:
Krista Habermehl, Communications Officer, Let’s Talk Science or 1-877-474-4081 ext. 239.

About Let’s Talk Science:
Let’s Talk Science is an award-winning, national, charitable, science outreach organization. Let’s Talk Science creates and delivers science learning programs and services that turn children and youth on to science, keep them engaged in learning and develop their potential to become 21st century citizens, innovators and stewards. For more information about Let's Talk Science, please visit