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Government Invests in the Outreach Leaders Who Make Science and Research Fun for Young Canadians

During the past year the minds of millions of young Canadians have opened to the power of science and engineering in action. They have learned how advancements in artificial intelligence, mathematical modelling and innovative technologies shape our society. Teachers and community leaders are sharing their passion and curiosity with youth across Canada, inspiring them to follow their dreams and become the successful entrepreneurs, coders, inventors and discoverers of tomorrow.

Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced over $12 million in funding for Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s (NSERC) PromoScience grants, which support hands-on learning experiences aimed at building the next generation of scientists and research leaders. To help foster this culture of curiosity, 81 grant recipients, from across the country, will run summer camps, science centre programming, after-school programs and more.

Minister Champagne also celebrated the winners of this year’s NSERC’s Awards for Science Promotion. The awards honour individuals and groups who make outstanding contributions to the promotion of science in Canada through activities that encourage the general public to take an interest in science, and even turn it into a career.

This year, the individual award of $10,000 goes to Dr. Kevin Hewitt of Dalhousie University. He’s being recognized for his work to foster interest in science among students of African descent in Nova Scotia, and his leadership with Dalhousie’s Imhotep Legacy Academy (ILA), an innovative university-community partnership that bridges the achievement gap for students of African heritage in grades six to 12.

The organization award of $25,000 goes to the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Engineering Outreach Team for its science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) outreach programs, reaching more than 48,000 K-12 girls and young women annually in the Ottawa and Gatineau region to help spark their interest in STEM.

Minister Champagne also congratulated the participants in this year’s virtual edition of Science Odyssey. Powered by NSERC, the 16-day Science Odyssey is Canada’s premier science and technology festival, delivering fun and engaging events for Canadians of all ages. The event celebrates Canadian STEM achievements and connects people with scientists, researchers, teachers and citizen scientists at hundreds of events across the country.