Canada 2067 looks to inspire and develop students who can tackle tomorrow's challenges
TORONTO, Dec. 5, 2017 /CNW/ - To inspire and nurture the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs, discoverers and citizens, Canada must enhance student exposure to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) across all levels and areas of learning. Today and tomorrow approximately 250 delegates are gathering for the Canada 2067National Leadership Conference at the Design Exchange in Toronto to discuss a national vision and action plan to drive STEM learning in Canada forward over the next 50 years.
Since launching in October 2016, Canada 2067 has catalyzed a national conversation about the current state of science learning in Canada and its future direction. To date, more than 160,000 inputs about 'how we teach', 'what we learn', 'how we learn', 'where education leads' and 'who's involved' have been received from educators, youth, science and community-based organizations, industry, government and many other interested Canadians from all provinces and territories.
These discussions, along with the National Leadership Conference, Global Shapers Millennial Roundtables and five Canada 2067regional youth events in 2017 and 2018, will help inform the Canada 2067 framework for STEM learning.
"Innovation in science and technology are profoundly transforming the way we live and work. Canada's youth need to be prepared to face new citizenship and work demands that require different skills and knowledge than previous generations. Our education systems are among the best in the world but we cannot be complacent," says Bonnie Schmidt, President of Let's Talk Science. "A national vision and action plan for STEM learning will support all disciplines in school, and nurture the critical competencies that ensure students graduate with the skills and characteristics they need to succeed in a range of careers, as critical thinkers and informed citizens."
A draft version of the Canada 2067action plan has been shared with a select group of stakeholders, including educators, industry, policy-makers and community partners. At the National Leadership Conference these stakeholders, and more, will come together – either as panel members or engaged delegates – to discuss the key elements of the action plan, including:
How we teach – giving educators the support, training and resourcing they require to implement change in STEM education.
Who's involved – engaging students by offering more experiential and stimulating learning opportunities in collaboration with external partners.
What we learn – ensuring the students have the competencies and outcomes for 21st century learning.
How we learn – using inquiry-based approaches and information and communications technology to transform learning experiences.
A fifth panel discussion will look at inequities in participation and achievement in STEM education and careers, including gender and cultural imbalances (girls and boys, students from different socio-economic groups and from majority and minority cultures, Indigenous students).
The desired outcome of the National Leadership Conference is tangible input into the Canada 2067 action plan that will take it to the next level. An updated version will be socialized with Canadians starting in January 2018, and will continue to be refined with a final version released in mid- to late-2018.
Why is a STEM learning action plan so urgent?
Canada is a global leader in education, with Canadian students performing relatively well by international standards. Yet we need to keep pace as other countries evolve educational approaches. Moreover, a high percentage of Canadian youth disengage from STEM studies before high school graduation. This puts them at a disadvantage.
Canada 2067 is presented by Let's Talk Science, a national not-for-profit that helps youth fulfill their potential and prepare for future citizenship and work demands through STEM engagement. Canada 2067 Founding Partners include: Amgen Canada, 3MCanada, Trottier Family Foundation and Hill+Knowlton Strategies. National sponsors include: Government of Canada, Government of Ontario, NELSON, Samsung, Toyota Foundation, Genome Canada and Bayer. Regional sponsors include: APEGA Foundation, AstraZeneca Canada, Best Buy Canada, BGC, Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association, Chevron Canada, Genome British Columbia, Hibernia, Mitacs and STEMCELL Technologies.