$1 million donated to Scouts Canada to develop science, technology, engineering and math programs for youth
OTTAWA and SYLVAN LAKE, AB, July 8, 2013 /CNW/ - Scouts Canada, the Imperial Oil Foundation and ExxonMobil Canada today announced a joint commitment to promote interest in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) among Canadian Scouting youth. Imperial and ExxonMobil Canada will contribute $1 million over five years to support Scouts Canada programming that fosters curiosity and practical skills in STEM subjects.
"Introducing STEM into our programming provides another avenue to help youth develop into confident and well-rounded individuals better prepared for the challenges and opportunities of life," said Andrew Price, Chief Commissioner and Chair of the Board of Governors of Scouts Canada. "By providing informal educational activities in a social environment, we hope to excite, engage and evoke a passion for STEM subjects in Canadian children and youth."
Canada is a country that prides itself on being at the forefront of science and engineering, but experts say Canadian students are lagging their peers in other countries. As a result of this new initiative, the inventor of the next generation automobile, digital technology or power plant could be wearing a Scouts Canada uniform today.
"Our goal is to spark the imagination of young people," said Rich Kruger, Chairman, President and CEO of Imperial Oil. "By engaging a new generation of students in the pursuit of technical careers, we are investing in their futures and Canada's future."
Scouts Canada STEM programming will help nurture future Canadian scientists, engineers and mathematicians, to help meet the growing demand from companies and academic institutions. STEM is a hot button topic these days; a 2012 report from the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) found Canada is falling behind in STEM disciplines, with only 37 per cent of pending high school graduates expressing an interest in taking even one post-secondary science course. The study also showed Canada lagging behind other countries, including China, for example, where one in three university graduates are from an engineering discipline; in Canada, the rate is one in 10. Another 2012 study by Let's Talk Science and Amgen Canada Inc. identified that interest in science falls by age. Nearly one third (27%) of students by the ages of 16-18 say they're not interested in science.
Scouts Canada STEM programming will focus on learning by doing and demonstrating how fun science can be. Youth ages 5 to 26 will be able to participate in exciting, hands-on programming involving chemistry, environmental science, math, robotics and other activities that demonstrate the physics of stress, force and acceleration. Activities could include constructing catapults and towers from poles and lashings to developing renewable energy projects to understanding the world of germs to learning how to camp on Mars.
Trials of STEM programming begin in the fall of 2013 with the full program debuting in 2014.
Media Note: Media are welcome to attend the STEM launch event taking place at 1:30 p.m. MDT today at Canadian Scout Jamboree 2013 (CJ'13), Camp Woods, Sylvan Lake Alberta. For detailed directions visit: Scouts.ca/cj13/event.html
The largest gathering of Scouts in Canada, CJ'13 will provide youth aged 11 to 14 and leaders and volunteers with a week of new experiences, friendships and adventure. One of the many adventurous activities taking place during the week is the opportunity for youth to be the first to participate in some Scouts Canada STEM activities.
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 more than 100,000 members nationwide. Scouts Canada offers programming for children and youth aged 5-26 in more than 19 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 Imperial Oil
Imperial Oil is one of Canada's largest corporations and a leading member of the country's petroleum industry. The company is a major producer of crude oil and natural gas, Canada's largest petroleum refiner, a key petrochemical producer and a leading marketer with coast-to-coast supply and retail service station networks.
About ExxonMobil Canada
ExxonMobil Canada, a subsidiary of Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), has a long history in Canada that dates back to the 1940s. The company is a leader in the Atlantic Canada offshore, where it operates the Sable project in Nova Scotia, is lead owner of the Hibernia project in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL), where it is developing the Hebron project. ExxonMobil Canada has interest in the Terra Nova project in NL, operates the Sable project in Nova Scotia and has additional assets in Western and Northern Canada.
SOURCE: Scouts Canada
For further information:
Andrea McLoughlin Holmes
PR for Scouts Canada