Standard Life and SickKids take students behind the scenes to experience the cool side of science

  • Standard Life partners with The Hospital for Sick Children to help youth discover academic and career paths in science and technology
  • Students and doctors connect for hands-on learning at world-class research facility

TORONTO, April 1, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - As part of its commitment to encourage school perseverance, Standard Life is joining The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto through a multi-year contribution in support of the Standard Life Kids Science program. The program helps youth from disadvantaged backgrounds discover academic and career paths in science and technology, and gives them access to leaders in these fields in a fun and informative setting.

"The generosity of organizations like Standard Life never ceases to amaze us, and we couldn't be more grateful," said Adrian Horwood, Vice President, Corporate Partnerships, SickKids Foundation. "This contribution will enable us to continue providing young minds with an experience that may very well spark the next great medical or science breakthrough."

Incepted in 2006, Kids Science has reached nearly 10,000 students from across Ontario, guiding them through the process of attaining higher education and employment. The program enables students to visit laboratories at the new Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning at SickKids, which opened in September 2013 and is believed to be the largest child health research tower in the world.

Students also get to attend Science Extravaganza, a two-day science symposium held each year in May at the hospital, and participate in summer mentorships and other interactive programs.

"There are many wonderful career options available out there and we hope this look behind the scenes at SickKids will inspire students to learn more about some of these opportunities available and convince them to further their education," said Jennifer Gregory, Vice-President, Group Savings and Retirement, Standard Life. "If they can see the benefits of investing time and patience in their own future and the possibilities they never knew existed, we will have done our part in helping them become the next generation of leaders."

The Standard Life Kids Science program also benefits from a dedicated group of staff. SickKids doctors and scientists are constantly opening their doors and volunteering their time to take part.

"The Standard Life Kids Science program is such an important initiative to our staff," said Dr. Lisa Robinson, Head of the Nephrology Division and Senior Scientist at SickKids, and Project leader for the program. "It allows the scientists and doctors here to share their enthusiasm for science and connect with future researchers and doctors. We're grateful to Standard Life for enabling us to continue sharing our passion and inspiring others to follow their dreams of helping others."

About Standard Life Kids Science
Explore. Learn. Evolve. Standard Life Kids Science is an outreach program created by The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) to educate and inspire kids with interactive science experiences. A main focus for Standard Life Kids Science is reaching youth who are at-risk or those who have a lack of equitable access to interactive science experiences, this includes:

  1. Patients who receive medical care at SickKids
  2. Youth living in priority neighbourhoods from Toronto and surrounding areas
  3. Youth from remote Ontario communities

Standard Life Kids Science has become a valuable part of SickKids community outreach efforts, reaching more than 10,000 students to date. By providing these young Canadians with interactive experiences with scientific leaders, in a fun and informative setting, we hope to broaden their perspective towards science and technology and guide them through the process of attaining higher education and employment.

About Standard Life
Standard Life Financial provides long-term savings, investment and insurance solutions to more than 1.4 million Canadians, including group retirement and insurance plan members. It has 2,000 employees across Canada.

Its parent company, Standard Life plc, is headquartered in Scotland, operates in the UK, Canada, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and has around six million customers and 8,500 employees worldwide. It had $429.7 billion in assets under administration, including $48 billion in Canada, at December 31, 2013.

About SickKids Foundation
Established in 1972, SickKids Foundation raises funds on behalf of The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and is the largest charitable funder of child health research, learning and care in Canada. Philanthropy is a critical source of funding for SickKids -- one of the world's foremost paediatric health care institutions. For the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013, SickKids Foundation made an unprecedented investment of $92.6 million in children's health, a direct result of generous community and corporate support. For more information, please visit www.sickkidsfoundation.com.

Image with caption: "Randy Ellig frm Standard Life with students and a researcher at the Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning at SickKids (CNW Group/Standard Life)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140401_C8031_PHOTO_EN_38656.jpg

SOURCE: Standard Life

For further information:

Standard Life
Anne-Julie Gratton
514-499-7999 or 1-877-499-9555 ext. 8150
anne-julie.gratton@standardlife.ca

Mark James
Cohn & Wolfe
647-259-3316
416-400-5263 (mobile)
mark.james@cohnwolfe.ca

SickKids Foundation 
Heather Bonnar
416-813-6166 ext. 2701 (office)
647-225-4901 (mobile)
heather.bonnar@sickkidsfoundation.com

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