Let’s Talk Science receives federal government funding of $12.5 million over five years to greatly expand its science education programs for Canadian youth

2015-05-20

Investment allows Let’s Talk Science to expose millions more Canadian youth to science, technology, engineering and math to build their skills for the changing economy

On Thursday, May 21, the Government of Canada announced it is providing $12.5 million in funding over five years to Let’s Talk Science. The funding allows Let’s Talk Science to undertake a transformative change that will kick start a significant expansion of its activities across Canada.

Through this expansion, Let’s Talk Science will quadruple its reach, engaging an estimated 5 million more Canadian children and youth in its award-winning programs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education over the next five years.

Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology)The funding announcement was made by the Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology) at a Let’s Talk Science Challenge competition for Grade 6-8 students held at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

“For more than 20 years, Let's Talk Science has helped Canadian youth prepare for a world that is shaped by science and technology,” said Dr. Bonnie Schmidt, President and Founder of Let’s Talk Science. “Now we will launch a bold national plan to bring our programs to millions more children, youth and educators in hundreds of communities across the country. With this new government support, we will work with our world-class volunteer network and education partners to support toddlers to teens in developing foundational skills that will serve them well regardless of their future career paths.”

Let’s Talk Science is unique as the only national youth STEM outreach organization that offers a comprehensive suite of programs and resources to support both youth and educators from the early years through to Grade 12 as well as a focus on research.

“Engagement of youth in STEM is critical for Canada’s future as it builds essential skills such as problem solving, communication, critical thinking and teamwork that help youth keep their career doors open so they can thrive in an increasingly complex world,” said Rick Dobson, Chair of the Board of Let’s Talk Science. “We address key barriers to youth engagement by providing free access to outstanding programs, which we will make even better and more available thanks to this new funding from government and the continued support of our generous private-sector partners and donors.”

The achievements of Let’s Talk Science have been made possible through strong partnerships with industry, foundations, individuals and others. This significant Federal investment was made possible because of them and is intended to build upon them.

Students at the Let's Talk Science ChallengeImpact of investment

The transformative growth of Let’s Talk Science over the next five years will result in increased youth participation in STEM, increased capacity of parents and educators to support a STEM-based economy, and more STEM graduates with stronger employability skills. Over the next five years, and through the leveraging of this significant investment, Let’s Talk Science plans to:

  • Impact 840,000 young children through the Let’s Talk Science IdeaPark program.
  • Engage teens with 1,325,000 interactions through the Let’s Talk Science CurioCity program.
  • Grow the Let’s Talk Science Outreach sites from 41 to 48 universities and colleges all across Canada, increasing the number of youth reached to 1,503,000.
  • Increase the number of volunteers annually from 3,500 to 5,000.
  • Build the space-oriented Tomatosphere™ program, now under Let’s Talk Science management, to reach more than 2,062,500 school-age children.