News and media

The Horizon Project aims to send a caring message to youth that they are capable of learning without computer technology

Published
August 24, 2020
Type
Media Releases

Let’s Talk Science, Food Banks Canada and over 180 organizations provide fun STEM and literacy resources for Canadian youth in low socio-economic communities

LONDON, ON (August 24, 2020) Over 120 food banks, Indigenous groups and community partners in every province and territory across Canada will start receiving fun, hands-on activity and resource kits to distribute to families with youth in Grades 4 - 6 in low socio-economic communities.

75,000 kits will be sent out as a way to engage them in meaningful and fun learning opportunities that do not require technology or internet access; of these, more than 8,000 kits will be given to Indigenous youth. That’s over 130,000kg of unplugged learning resources being shipped across Canada.

As technology adoption has accelerated during COVID-19, the equity gap has widened and the impact on youth in low-socioeconomic communities and their ability to engage in online learning opportunities has been significant. Recognizing this, Let’s Talk Science has worked with partners to create the Horizon Project and provide these youth with a package of learning resources that support hands-on exploration, science inquiry and reading.

“This is an age when youth are typically engaged in school and very curious about science and the world around them. However, they are also at a higher risk of disengaging,” says Dr. Bonnie Schmidt, President and Founder of Let’s Talk Science. “We can’t afford to leave anyone behind. The Horizon Project aims to send a caring signal to vulnerable youth who may not be engaged in online learning that we believe in them and that learning is key for their future.”

Every Horizon learning kit includes a colourful activity workbook to catalyze STEM exploration and literacy development, supplies to enable hands-on activities, design and builds, and an age appropriate book. There is even an inspirational message from former Canadian astronaut and icon, Chris Hadfield. In addition to contributions from Scholar’s Choice who provided supplies, Mormark Printing, Fraser Direct who packaged the kits, Purolator who are supporting shipping, and Arctic Buying Company for supporting shipping across the territories and northern Manitoba. Over 180 organizations have contributed to the success of the Horizon Project.

Youth are also encouraged to participate in two activities to be entered into a draw. They can enter to win one of the hundreds of educational prizes by using prepaid postage to submit:

  • A drawing or writing about what interests them when they dream about the future
  • Completing the Little Inventors challenge to design a solution that protects and improves the health of our oceans.

Learn more about the Horizon Project

 

Three photos of the Horizon kit being packaged and the materials included

About Horizon Project contributors

Thank you to Let's Talk Science's project delivery partners for their vision and to our many donors who generously contributed to the project. Contributors include Scholar’s Choice for providing supplies and manipulatives, First Book Canada and Rideau Hall Foundation for providing age-appropriate books, Frontier College for providing literacy activities, Mining Matters for providing geology activities, NSERC and Canadian Commission for UNESCO for Little Inventors; Canadian Space Agency for space momentos, Owl kids and Les Débrouillards for prizing; Mormark Printing for production of the activity books, Fraser Direct for managing the packaging and distribution of all packages, Purolator for shipping support and Arctic Buying Company for supporting shipping across the territories and northern Manitoba. Added thanks to Food Banks Canada, and the Canadian Children’s Literacy Foundation.

This project wouldn’t be possible without financial support from Amgen Canada, Azrieli Foundation, Charmandy Foundation, Dow Canada, Fluor Corporation, Gerald Heffernan, John Blachford, Lockheed Martin, NSERC, Rio Tinto, Toyota Canada Foundation, Trottier Family Foundation, and the Verschuren/Shibinsky Families.

The Horizon Project is also supported by The Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund, Community Foundations of Canada and: Brant Community Foundation, Bulkley Valley Community Foundation, Chatham Kent Community Foundation, Community Foundation of Halton North, Community Foundation for Kingston & Area, Community Foundation of Lethbridge & Southwestern Alberta, Community Foundation of Medicine Hat and Southeastern Alberta, Community Foundation of North Okanagan, Dauphin and District Community Foundation, Durham Community Foundation, Edmonton Community Foundation, Fondation communautaire de la Péninsule acadienne, Foundation of Greater Montreal, Fredericton Community Foundation, Fundy Community Foundation, Gwaii Trust Society, Hamilton Community Foundation, Niagara Community Foundation, Oakville Community Foundation, Ottawa Community Foundation, Red Deer & District Community Foundation, St. Albert Community Foundation, The Greater Saint John Community Foundation, The Yukon Foundation, Toronto Foundation, Victoria Foundation, and Yellowknife Community Foundation.

About Let’s Talk Science

Let’s Talk Science – a leading partner in Canadian education – 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. Let’s Talk Science’s national office is located in London, Ontario. For more information about Let's Talk Science, visit letstalkscience.ca.

Media Contact:
Sarah Hogeveen
Senior Communications Officer
Let’s Talk Science
1-877-474-4081 ext. 239