EDMONTON, June 6, 2019 /CNW/ - Today, Actua in partnership with NorQuest College and Finning Canada, hosted 80 local Indigenous high school students in grades 9-12 from surrounding First Nations communities for a career day at NorQuest College in Edmonton, Alberta.
The event featured a full day of hands-on activities designed to ignite an interest in careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). From engineering their own compasses, to learning about 3D printing, pollination, water filtration, Morse Code and telecommunications, students learned how STEM is tied to Traditional Knowledge and can be applied to solve problems within their own communities.
The event brought together community, industry and post-secondary education institutions across Alberta including Actua network members from Red Deer College, the University of Lethbridge, University of Calgary and representatives from NAIT and MacEwan University, the Maskwacis Education Schools Commission, Frog Lake First Nation, Imperial and Google Canada - DeepMind.
The initiative is part of Actua's national model to engage more Indigenous youth in STEM and improve high school graduation rates for Indigenous youth. Actua's national Indigenous Youth in STEM (InSTEM) program partners with Indigenous communities, local school boards, and network members at universities and colleges to deliver 11-day credited Indigenous STEM land camps and Indigenous STEM courses during the academic year.
"Indigenous communities have always asserted that Indigenous knowledge is best applied through land based learning and the sharing of local cultural knowledge. This is particularly true when it comes to learning (STEM) from an Indigenous perspective," said Doug Dokis, Actua's Director of InSTEM. "Today's event was an important opportunity for Actua to deepen the impact of our skills building programming for Indigenous youth across Northern Alberta, providing experiential learning while connecting them with education pathways and meaningful employment opportunities."
Industry partners from across Alberta were on-site to expose students to the diversity of emerging career opportunities while helping students believe in their own capabilities and imagine their own career potential.
"We focus the majority of our community investment efforts on STEM-related programs, particularly in rural areas that don't typically have access to resources or mentoring because we believe our work can create a lasting positive impact on communities, which then in turn inspires the next generation of talent needed to support not only our company, but our industry as well," said Finning Canada Director of Training Services, Shaun Bilodeau. "Our partnership with Actua is critical in supporting our outreach to indigenous youth, who we believe will play a key role in the workforce of the future."
Finning Canada is a Cornerstone partner and major Western Canada funder of Actua. With support from Finning, Actua engages 35,000 youth per year including more than 11,000 Indigenous youth in Finning key communities throughout British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories and Yukon.
About Actua: Actua is Canada's largest science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) youth outreach network representing 37 university and college based members. Each year, Actua's growing network of member organizations reach over 250,000 young Canadians in 500 communities nationwide. Actua focuses on the engagement of underrepresented youth through specialized programs for Indigenous youth, girls and young women, at-risk youth and youth living in Northern and remote communities. Its national InSTEM program reaches over 35,000 Indigenous youth per year in over 200 Indigenous communities. Actua's major funding partners include: Government of Canada, Google Canada, Suncor Energy Foundation, GE Canada, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Finning, Toyota Canada Foundation and Lockheed Martin. For more information about Actua, visit actua.ca.
About NorQuest College: NorQuest College is the Edmonton region's community college serving 18,381 learners. This translates to 11,047 full-time and part-time credit students, and 7,334 non-credit or continuing education students, including assessment examinations. NorQuest College helps learners with diverse educational backgrounds complete or further their studies through foundational and continuing education programs. Our post-secondary diploma and certificate programs offer career paths in health, community studies, and business. By collaborating with business, industry, government and communities, we ensure our post-secondary education is necessary and workforce relevant.
About Finning: Finning Canada is a division of Finning International Inc., the world's largest Cat® equipment dealer. Headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, Finning Canada sells, rents and provides customer support services for Cat equipment and engines in British Columbia, Yukon, Alberta, Saskatchewan, the Northwest Territories and a portion of Nunavut. They serve a diverse range of industrial markets, including mining, forestry, construction, pipeline/oil field construction, agriculture, government sector, marine, transportation, fisheries, and the commercial transport industry. www.finning.com
For further information: Kaitlynn Carroll, Communications and Projects Manager, Actua, 111 Murray Street, Ottawa ON K1N 5M5, Tel: (613) 234-4137, Cell: (613) 818-0374, Email: [email protected], Web: www.actua.ca; Kelly Vail, Senior Public Relations Advisor, Finning Canada, [email protected] (587)-987-8693, www.finning.com