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Celebrating Canadians who inspire our youth to choose science

Minister Duncan thanks science leaders for sharing their love of science with young Canadians

News release

May 18, 2018

May 18, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario. When we ignite a passion for science in young minds, we encourage their imaginations to take over. The results can be remarkable: new inventions, incredible concepts and novel innovations that put today’s youth on a path to become the entrepreneurs, engineers, doctors, architects and researchers of tomorrow.

Today, in support of nurturing this kind of passion, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, celebrated the three winners of this year’s Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’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 kids and young adults to take an interest in science.

Minister Duncan made the announcement while visiting the Canada-Wide Science Fair at Carleton University, where she met with young scientists exhibiting their science fair projects. She also toured the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Expo which shines a spotlight on the people who make up Canada’s science outreach community; those who open young people’s minds to polar research, robotics, radiocommunications and more.

The Minister’s participation at the science fair is part of Science Odyssey 2018. Each year, this 10-day, cross-country celebration features inspiring activities to help Canadians recognize how science, technology and innovation shape their daily lives. It includes more than 900 events connecting Canadians of all ages with scientists, researchers, teachers, and citizen scientists – throwing open doors to labs, museums, research facilities, and many of the other science institutions and organizations that make up Canada’s strong science culture.


“Our Government knows how important it is to support our future researchers and scientists today. I want to share my heartfelt congratulations to all the Canada-Wide Science Fair participants for taking the leap into the incredible world of science. I also want to applaud the dedicated people in our outstanding science outreach community who inspire young Canadians across our country. By inspiring our youth to choose science, we are inspiring them to choose a bolder, brighter future.”
– The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities

“The fostering of curiosity in science and engineering opens doors to novel ideas, creative solutions and exciting career possibilities. By sharing their enthusiasm and expertise with Canada’s youth, the science outreach community is contributing to a healthy science culture in communities across this country.”
– Dr. B. Mario Pinto, President of NSERC

Quick Facts

  • Science Odyssey brings together hundreds of events from across Canada where people can experience the country’s rich culture of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). This year, the celebration runs from May 11 to 20.
  • The Canada-Wide Science Fair features 500 of Canada’s top young scientists who gather to showcase their science‑oriented solutions to pressing public issues while competing for almost $1 million in prizes.
  • The NSERC Awards for Science Promotion celebrate scientists and others for their achievements in reaching out to Canadians to share their passion for science and engineering. This year’s recipients are:
    • Edna Dach of Ardrossan, Alberta, in recognition of her long career as an educator who pioneered computer literacy and STEM awareness in schools. Dach is also being acknowledged for her work through the Girl Guides to encourage girls and young women to pursue computing and other STEM careers.
    • Jean-Marie De Koninck, Professor Emeritus at Université Laval, for his work in popularizing math and science through TV shows like C’est mathématique! and multimedia games.
    • RiverWatch Institute of Alberta, based in Calgary and Edmonton, for its many years of organizing science class rafting trips along Alberta rivers to explore river ecosystems.

Associated Links

Science Odyssey

Winners of NSERC Awards for Science Promotion


Ann Marie Paquet
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Science
Tel.: 343-291-2692
Email: ann-marie.paquet@canada.ca

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
Tel.: 343-291-1777
Email: ic.mediarelations-mediasrelations.ic@canada.ca

Valérie Levert-Gagnon
Media and Public Affairs Officer
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Tel.: 613-996-2341
Email: media@nserc-crsng.gc.ca

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 industry with discoveries and the people behind them. Researcher-industry 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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