Nation-building initiative to support the evolution of Canadian education: Shaping youth learning in science, technology, engineering and math

Canada 2067 will bring together educators, businesses, governments, community groups, parents and youth to develop new framework for learning for the next 50 years

TORONTO, Oct. 26, 2016 /CNW/ - As innovation in science and technology continues to profoundly transform the lives of Canadians, future generations will need a wider range of skills than ever before to compete, thrive and contribute as citizens and leaders. Today, in the presence of the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Canada 2067 was introduced: A new initiative to identify the approaches to education, conditions and actions that are needed to ensure Canadian youth are as prepared as possible for the rapidly changing world.

The goal of Canada 2067? To evolve Canada's education model for the 21st century by enhancing student exposure and access to the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) across all levels and areas of learning. 

Today, most Canadian youth disengage from STEM studies before high school graduation – with less than 50 per cent of Canadian high school students graduating with senior STEM courses. Yet, disruptive technologies and changes in the labour market are rewarding highly skilled workers. Approximately 70 per cent of Canada's top jobs – from health care to skilled trades – now require some level of STEM.1

"Youth need to prepare in new ways for the evolving citizenship and work demands of the 21st century," said Bonnie Schmidt, president and founder of Let's Talk Science and driving force behind Canada 2067. "We have the research. There is desire for change. And Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation is the perfect time for everyone – those inside the education system and those with an interest in education – to come together to set ambitious goals to ensure youth are well prepared for a rapidly changing world."

While Canada's education systems are among the best in the world, they must keep pace with an increasingly knowledge-based and technology-intensive global economy – especially as other countries vie to do the same.

At the core of Canada 2067 is an innovative framework for learning for the next 50 years. This Learning Framework will identify areas of consensus, common themes and shared calls to action for the future of STEM learning. Policy makers, educators, parents, industry leaders, non-profit organizations and youth are being asked to join the conversation to share their perspective and provide meaningful feedback. This conversation will happen over the next year and has three key phases:

  • Phase 1: Conversations with youth and adults across Canada (in-person and online) to refine the Canada 2067 Learning Framework
  • Phase 2: A landmark live-streamed national conference in December 2017
  • Phase 3: A consensus-based action plan for implementation post conference

"Our legacy will be inspiring the innovators, entrepreneurs, citizens and discoverers who will lead our country forward," said Schmidt.

The Canada 2067 announcement was held at leading production company Shaftesbury's brand new office space in Leslieville where, along with its award-winning digital studio Smokebomb Entertainment and branded entertainment agency shift2, Shaftesbury also announced a new multi-platform digital series called Emerald Code. Emerald Code, which will go into production in early 2017, stars newcomers Anwen O'Driscoll and Star Slade and is being produced in partnership with Corus Entertainment, Ubisoft and Let's Talk Science.

Canada 2067 is presented by Let's Talk Science and made possible by founding partners 3M, Amgen Canada, Hill+Knowlton Strategies and The Trottier Family Foundation. It is an evolution of the Spotlight on Science Learning research program from Let's Talk Science and made possible by Amgen Canada. The reports explored youth and parental attitudes towards science learning, the economic impact of dropping high school science and math and identified benchmarks for science learning in Canada. These reports have resonated with parents, educators, decision makers and media across the country – bringing this important topic to the forefront.

"As a company dedicated to scientific discovery and healthcare innovation, we strongly believe in encouraging and inspiring young scientific talent, and in helping students understand the potential that a foundation in science provides," said Leann Sweeney, Director at Amgen Canada. "It is why we have been proud supporters of Let's Talk Science for seven years, and we are excited to be part of the Canada 2067 initiative to inspire and nurture the science leaders of tomorrow."

"At 3M we believe science is just science, until you make it improve the world, and so we are passionate about supporting the next generation of scientists through STEM education.  During the last six decades we have invested more than 1.4 billion dollars in communities and schools around the world," said Erin Craven, Executive Director, Corporate Marketing, Sales and Services, 3M Canada. "We are inspired by the vision set forth by Let's Talk Science for Canada 2067 and look forward to being part of this initiative which will kick-start a national conversation about the future of STEM education in Canada."

Canadians can join the conversation online at www.canada2067.ca and spread the word through Facebook.com/Canada2067 and Twitter.com/Can2067STEM (English) or Twitter.com/Can2067STIM (French). 

About Canada 2067
Canada 2067 is a bold nation-building initiative to inspire youth futures. As a country, we will identify approaches to learning and actions to help Canadian youth prepare for a rapidly changing world. Canada 2067 includes an interactive website; conversations with youth and adults across Canada; and a landmark live-streamed national conference in December 2017.

About Let's Talk Science
Let's Talk Science is an award-winning, national, charitable organization focused on education and outreach to support youth development. We create and deliver unique learning programs and services that engage children, youth and educators in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

About 3M
At 3M, we apply science in collaborative ways to improve lives daily. With $30 billion in sales, our 90,000 employees connect with customers all around the world. Established in 1951, 3M Canada was one of the first international subsidiaries opened by 3M with the head office and original manufacturing site is in London, Ontario where approximately 800 of the company's 1,800 employees work. Learn more about 3M's creative solutions to the world's problems at www.3M.ca or on Twitter @3M_Canada.

About Amgen Canada Inc.
As a leader in innovation, Amgen Canada understands the value of science. With main operations located in Mississauga, Ont.'s vibrant biomedical cluster, and its research facility in Burnaby, B.C., Amgen Canada has been an important contributor to advancements in science and innovation in Canada since 1991. Amgen is committed to unlocking the potential of biology for patients suffering from serious illnesses by discovering, developing, manufacturing and delivering innovative human therapeutics. This approach begins by using tools like advanced human genetics to unravel the complexities of disease and understand the fundamentals of human biology. Amgen focuses on areas of high unmet medical need and leverages its expertise to strive for solutions that improve health outcomes and dramatically improve people's lives. To learn more about Amgen Canada, visit www.amgen.ca.

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1 http://www.letstalkscience.ca/news-events/item/spotlight-on-science-learning-the-high-cost-of-dropping-science-and-math.html

SOURCE Canada 2067

Image with caption: "Actress accidentally makes contact with astronaut Roberta Bondar while experimenting with virtual reality as Bonnie Schmidt, president of Let’'s Talk Science and Christina Jennings, CEO of Shaftesbury react, during the launch of both Canada 2067, a nation-building initiative to enhance Canadian education by enhancing exposure to STEM and new series, Emerald Code. (CNW Group/Canada 2067)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20161026_C4204_PHOTO_EN_804811.jpg

For further information: MEDIA CONTACT: For interview requests and more information, please contact: Giacomo Grisanzio, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Giacomo.Grisanzio@hkstragies.ca, 416-413-4692


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