Minister Aglukkaq Encourages Northern Students To Study Science



    IQALUIT, Feb. 6 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of
Health, today participated in a science workshop for students at Aqsarniit
Middle School in Iqaluit sponsored by the Canadian Institutes of Health
Research (CIHR). The Minister used the opportunity to highlight Government
programs that help young people pursue careers in the sciences, including
health research.
    "Canada's future lies in a knowledge-based economy. Young people in all
parts of Canada are expanding both their imaginations and their job horizons
by learning science," said Minister Aglukkaq. "We want to help young Canadians
who dream of becoming health researchers. That's why we are investing in
students pursuing graduate degrees in the health sciences."
    Canada's Economic Action Plan, Budget 2009, provided CIHR with an
additional $35 million to expand its Canada Graduate Scholarships program.
    The science workshop attended by Minister Aglukkaq was supported by
Synapse, CIHR's youth engagement program. The program creates a scientific
junction - a synapse - by encouraging CIHR-funded researchers, graduate
students and postdoctoral fellows to teach young Canadians about the value of
science and health research.
    Through the program, CIHR partners with non-profit organizations to
provide students with education and hands-on training across Canada. Synapse
mentors teach students through lab visits, instruction by computer, lectures
at school, or by acting as judges at science fairs. With its national partner,
Actua, CIHR reaches Aboriginal youth in northern communities throughout
Nunavut, the Yukon and Northwest Territories. In 2008, over 4,000 kids
participated in hands-on health research workshops delivered in 30 northern
Canadian communities.
    "We've learned over the years that, to create great scientists, we need
to get kids excited about science at an early age," said Dr. Cornelia Wieman,
a member of CIHR's Governing Council and co-director of the Indigenous Health
Research Development Program at the University of Toronto. "CIHR's Synapse
program makes science accessible to kids living in all parts of Canada -
especially those living in rural or remote communities, who might not
otherwise get this opportunity."

    The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of
Canada's agency for health research. CIHR's mission is to create new
scientific knowledge and to enable its translation into improved health, more
effective health services and products, and a strengthened Canadian
health-care system. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and
support to nearly 12,000 health researchers and trainees across Canada.
www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca

    Ce document est également disponible en français.

    
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For further information:

For further information: Josée Bellemare, Press Secretary, Office of the
Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, (613) 957-0200; David Coulombe, Media Relations,
CIHR, (613) 941-4563; Leslie Cuthbertson, Director of Partnerships and
Communications, Actua, (613) 882-4779


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