Partnership aims reduce gap between interest in science and pursuit of STEM careers
-Scouting youth will have access to scientific facilities, materials, mentorship and instruction-
OTTAWA, Nov. 24, 2014 /CNW/ - Scouts Canada and Let's Talk Science are joining forces to spark a passion for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) amongst Canadian youth in an effort to combat low interest in pursuing STEM-related careers.
In an economy where approximately 70 per cent of Canada's top jobs require STEM education, Scouts Canada and Let's Talk Science are providing Scouts across the country with exciting new opportunities to explore STEM through hands-on activities and mentorship in a non-formal, fun and social learning environment.
Let's Talk Science is an award-winning, national charitable organization focused on science education and outreach to support youth development. Their 2014 Spotlight on Science Learning report found that while 72 per cent of surveyed teens agreed that science is fun (more than double the number from a 2011 survey) and 78 per cent believe science offers them many different career options, only 22 per cent expressed significant interest in pursuing STEM at the post-secondary level, and only 12 per cent are interested in STEM-related careers.
"Both organizations share a deep commitment to youth development in a world increasingly shaped by science and technology," says Bonnie Schmidt, Ph.D., President and Founder of Let's Talk Science. "While we're encouraged to see today's youth are more interested in science, attitudes toward taking science courses have remained relatively flat. Understanding what influences and motivates youth as they look to their futures is critical to how we – educators, parents, youth, industry, non-profit organizations and government – work together to inspire and motivate them to remain engaged in STEM learning."
Let's Talk Science's network of 3,500 trained volunteers, based at over 40 university and college campuses across Canada, will engage Scouting youth ages 5 to 17 in a wide variety of meaningful STEM-related learning experiences using real-world examples and exciting activities.
The volunteers will share their STEM expertise with Scout Groups through mentorship, instruction on projects and developing new hands-on activities that match the interests of the youth. They will also provide groups with materials and access to post-secondary campuses for lab tours.
"The knowledge and passion of Let's Talk Science volunteers perfectly complements Scouts Canada's expanding STEM platform and meets our mandate to provide our youth with a wealth of opportunities that enable them to be better prepared for success in today's rapidly changing world," said Doug Reid, National Commissioner of Scouts Canada. "By collaborating with leading STEM organizations across Canada, we hope to inspire, engage and excite Scouts about STEM and also provide a better understanding of what post-secondary education, and a profession, in related fields looks like."
About Scouts Canada's STEM Program
Scouts Canada's STEM programming focuses on learning by doing and demonstrating how fun science can be. Youth ages five to 26 are able to participate in exciting, hands-on programming involving chemistry, environmental science, engineering, robotics, space exploration and other activities that introduces them to a variety of scientific and engineering concepts. Scouts Canada has partnered with leading STEM organizations including the Canada Science and Technology Museums and Let's Talk Science to provide a diverse pool of STEM projects that allow youth members to explore, design, and build, perform fun experiments and make interesting discoveries. For more information about Scouts Canada's STEM program, visit scouts.ca/stem.
About Scouts Canada
Kids in Scouts have fun adventures, discovering new things and experiences they wouldn't discover elsewhere. Along the way, they develop into capable, confident and well-rounded individuals, better prepared for success in the world. For tens of thousands of children and youth across Canada, Scouts is the start of something great. Scouts Canada is the country's leading co-ed youth organization, with 100,000 members nationwide. Scouts Canada offers programming for children and youth aged 5-26 in multiple languages, reflecting Canada's multicultural landscape and communities. For more information, visit Scouts.ca.
Scouts Canada is a not-for-profit organization (Charitable Registration No. 10776 1694 RR0028) and a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement.
About Let's Talk Science
Let's Talk Science is an award-winning, national, charitable organization focused on education and outreach. Let's Talk Science creates and delivers unique, accessible learning programs and services that engage children, youth and educators in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The organization strives to prepare all youth for their future careers and roles as citizens in a world that is increasingly shaped by science and technology.
For more information about Let's Talk Science, please visit www.letstalkscience.ca.
SOURCE: Scouts Canada
For further information: Media Contacts for Scouts Canada: Andrea McLoughlin, Senior Publicist, Holmes PR, [email protected], 416-628-5609; Media Contact for Let's Talk Science: Maggie MacLellan, Communications Officer, Let's Talk Science, [email protected], 519-474-4081 ext. 239 or 1-877-474-4081 ext. 239 (office), 226-678-1433 (cell)