The Government of Canada invests $2 Million in Let’s Talk Science to build digital talent for Canada’s future

CanCode funding will support Let’s Talk Science’s digital skills program for Kindergarten to Grade 12 educators and youth

(Toronto, Ontario) – On January 22, the Honourable Navdeep Singh Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED), announced an investment of $2 million to Let’s Talk Science – a national, charitable organization and a leading partner in Canadian education – through ISED’s CanCode program. The funding will enable Let’s Talk Science to facilitate the development of digital skills for educators, children and youth across Canada. Let’s Talk Science’s CanCode-funded project will include two components – professional learning workshops and a hands-on, citizen-science project.

Let’s Talk Science’s professional learning portion of the project will support a series of workshops focused on digital skill development for Kindergarten to Grade 12 educators. These workshops will take place in communities across Canada in 2018 and 2019, and include strategies teachers can use to build computational thinking skills among students.

The CanCode funding will also support the deployment of a large-scale citizen-science experiment. Working with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), Let’s Talk Science’s action project will connect with CSA Astronaut David Saint-Jacques’ 2018-19 mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Students will conduct real research on the challenges of space exploration, including the environmental conditions that affect space travel. Using computational thinking skills, students will analyze their data, propose and evaluate solutions and contribute findings to a national database. The project is available to students across Canada during the 2018-2019 school year.

“Coding is the next big job. Industries ranging from automotive and agri-food to the life sciences and clean technology need coders, given their increasingly digital nature,” says the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. “That’s why our government is equipping Canadian youth with the digital skills they need for the jobs of the future. By teaching kids to code today, we’re positioning Canada for future success across all industries and sectors.”

“Coding and digital skills are becoming the new ABCs making digital literacy fundamental to the jobs of the future, particularly in the fields of STEM, “ says Kate Young, Member of Parliament for London West and Parliamentary Secretary to Science. “That’s why our government has made an historic investment through our CanCode program to teach digital skills to over one million young Canadians and their teachers.”

“In the next 10 years, over 70 per cent of jobs will require some background in science, technology, engineering and math,” said Bonnie Schmidt, president and founder, Let’s Talk Science. “The CanCode funding allows us to provide Canadian educators with access to our professional learning workshops and an action project they can participate in with their students. By engaging in a real-time astronaut mission, we will engage learners in building critical skills such as computational thinking and coding in relevant and meaningful ways. CanCode funding will help Let’s Talk Science ensure students develop skills needed to thrive in a rapidly changing world.”

The CanCode program was announced in 2017 by ISED to support initiatives for coding and digital skills development to Canadian youth. Funding for the CanCode program totaled $50 million over two years to go toward non-profit organizations providing educational opportunities focused on digital literacy. CanCode was established to help students build skills needed for the jobs of today and the future.

Since 1993, Let’s Talk Science has worked with educators across the country, using a suite of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs to help students build skills. Through its digital programs, Let’s Talk Science works with youth from diverse backgrounds to help prepare them for their future career pathways.

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MEDIA CONTACT

Maggie MacLellan
Senior Communications Officer
Let’s Talk Science
1-877-474-4081 ext.239
(cell) 226-678-1433
mmaclellan@letstalkscience.ca

ABOUT LET’S TALK SCIENCE

Let’s Talk Science is a national charitable organization committed to inspiring and empowering Canadian youth to develop the skills they need to participate and thrive in an ever-changing world. To accomplish this, Let’s Talk Science offers a comprehensive suite of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) based programs to support youth, educators and volunteers across Canada. For more information about Let's Talk Science, visit www.letstalkscience.ca.