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Celebrating and investing in the STEM leaders who make science and research fun for young Canadians

Funding will help outreach organizations build interest among youth in science, technology, engineering and math

General news

May 2, 2019

May 2, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario

More than ever, young people across Canada are dreaming big thanks to Canadians walking in space, designing self-driving cars and exploring the Arctic. Our teachers and community leaders are sharing their passion and curiosity with young Canadians, inspiring them to follow their dreams and become the successful entrepreneurs, coders, clean tech inventors and discoverers of tomorrow.

Today, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, announced over $9 million in funding for PromoScience grants, which support hands-on learning experiences that inspire the next generation of scientists and research leaders. To help foster this culture of curiosity, 96 recipients of these grants, from across the country, will run summer camps, science centres, after-school programs and more.

Minister Duncan also celebrated the winners of this year’s Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s (NSERC) 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 children and young adults to take an interest in science, and even turn it into a career.

This year, Marc Lalande of the Quebec Aboriginal Science and Engineering Association (QASEA) is being recognized for promoting science and engineering to young Indigenous students in First Nations and Inuit communities in Quebec. The St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences is also receiving an award for its work to improve the health of the St. Lawrence River and other large river ecosystems, in partnership with the Mohawks of Akwesasne.

Adding to the day’s focus on inspiring youth to discover STEM, Minister Duncan also launched this year’s edition of Science Odyssey, Canada’s science and technology festival delivering fun and engaging events for Canadians of all ages. Powered by NSERC, the 16-day event celebrates Canadian STEAM achievements and connects people with scientists, researchers, teachers and citizen scientists at hundreds of events in communities across the country.

“Our Government knows that in today’s competitive, knowledge-based global economy, encouraging young Canadians to pursue careers in science and research is critical. That is why we are investing in the people and programs that bring science to life and inspire young Canadians to pursue their curiosity and ignite their love of science.”
– The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport

“Increasing science literacy among young Canadians will increase the number of students who pursue careers in STEM fields. Science outreach activities, such as those taking place throughout Science Odyssey, contribute to a strong science culture and ultimately improve the lives of all Canadians.”
– Dr. Digvir S. Jayas, Interim President of NSERC

Quick facts

  • NSERC’s PromoScience program offers financial support for non-profit organizations working with young Canadians to promote an understanding of science and engineering, including mathematics and technology.
  • Science Odyssey, which runs from May 4 to 19, brings together over a thousand of events from across Canada where people can experience the country’s rich culture of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM).

Associated links

Daniele Medlej
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Science and Sport

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and
Economic Development Canada

Valérie Levert-Gagnon
Media and Public Affairs Officer
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council

NSERC invests over $1.2 billion each year in natural sciences and engineering research in Canada. Our investments deliver discoveries—valuable world-firsts in knowledge claimed by a brain trust of over 11,000 professors. Our investments enable partnerships and collaborations that connect the makers and users of discoveries. Research partnerships established by NSERC help inform research and development and solve scale-up challenges.

NSERC also provides scholarships and hands-on training experience for more than 30,000 post-secondary students and post-doctoral fellows. These young researchers will be the next generation of science and engineering leaders in Canada.

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