WHERE Challenge targets future Earth Scientists



    VANCOUVER, Oct. 15 /CNW/ - An urgent need to attract students to the
Earth sciences is sparking a national contest for Canadian youth. Sponsored by
EnCana Corporation and Teck Cominco Limited and in celebration of the
International Year of Planet Earth and the official launch of National Science
& Technology Week, the WHERE Challenge is designed to get young people aged
10 - 14 years thinking about what on Earth is in their stuff and WHERE on
Earth it comes from. The hope is that by encouraging bright young minds to
think about the many ways the Earth's resources support everyday life, the
Challenge will also encourage students to consider Earth sciences as an
exciting educational and career opportunity.
    Media are invited to join kids and Earth scientists at Science World at
TELUS World of Science (1455 Quebec Street) on Friday, October 17th at
10:00 a.m. as they celebrate the first year of the Challenge by exploring the
Earth resources found in some common household items.
    According to the Canadian Federation of Earth Sciences (CFES), Canada is
facing a looming and wide-ranging shortage of qualified Earth scientists. Oil
& gas, mining, environmental & geotechnical, government and academia are all
predicted to face serious challenges in attracting new talent. Many workers
are nearing retirement and that - coupled with rising commodity demands,
advances in technology and emerging issues such as the need for new
discoveries, sustainable resource development and an increased focus on
environmental geoscience - has the country facing alarming shortages over the
next five to 10 years.
    "We're experiencing growing shortages across our entire profession," said
CFES President Ian Young. "The time to attract students to the Earth sciences
is now, because the gap between the talent we have and the talent we need is
reaching a point where it will begin to affect the Canadian economy."
    The WHERE Challenge is inviting students and schools to compete for
thousands of dollars in regional and national cash prizes by creating a story
around any object in their home or school, identifying one or more
non-renewable Earth resources found in that object and WHERE on Earth those
resources come from. Entries can be submitted until February 28th, 2009.
Starting Friday, October 17, all contest details will be available at
www.earthsciencescanada.com.
    "Science World is excited to be hosting the launch of the WHERE
Challenge," said Science World Vice President, Community Engagement,
Pauline Finn. "We want to show kids that science is all around us and that
there are great opportunities for them to be a part of it in their careers.
The WHERE Challenge is a great way to spread that message."





For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Jennifer Lyall, WHERE Challenge
Communications, Ph: (403) 818-8984, Email: lyalljennifer@shaw.ca; Pamela
Findling, Communications Coordinator, Science World, Ph: (604) 443-7470, Cell:
(778) 998-6572, Email: pfindling@scienceworld.ca

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NATIONAL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY WEEK (PACIFIC REGION)

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