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Government of Canada celebrates and invests in the outreach leaders who make science and research fun for young Canadians

New funding for science and engineering outreach programs will build interest among Canadian youth in science, technology, engineering and math

Program news Professors Students

June 9, 2021

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.


“By inspiring young Canadians’ interests in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, great teachers and leaders across our country are making a real difference. They are opening Canada’s most creative minds to new possibilities, sparking enthusiasm and building a culture of curiosity. I am pleased to join in celebrating today’s outreach leaders and encourage young Canadians to follow their dreamsbecause science matters.”
– The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“Science outreach activities, such as those taking place throughout Science Odyssey, foster enthusiasm for science, technology, engineering, and math among Canada’s young people. Their participation in a strong science culture positions them well to pursue interesting and productive jobs and to become more knowledgeable citizens.”
– Dr. Alejandro Adem, President of NSERC

Quick facts

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

Associated links


John Power
A/Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

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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