Feds fund science outreach in Ontario - Macleans.ca

Feds fund science outreach in Ontario

Money will create programs for under-represented youth

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More students from under-represented groups will be encouraged to pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and medicine) fields, thanks to $1.25-million from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.

“Our Government recognizes the importance of preparing young people for today’s high-tech economy,” said Conservative MP Peter Braid at the announcement in Waterloo. “By developing our next generation of scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians, we can help drive innovation and keep the economy growing in southern Ontario for years to come.”

The money goes to Actua, a science, engineering and technology outreach network that provides summer camps and classroom workshops delivered by university students. The funding will help create new programs for under-represented children, including Aboriginals, at-risk youth and girls.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Commerce released a study that showed women make up only 25 per cent of the STEM workforce, despite holding nearly 50 per cent of all jobs. They concluded that America’s economic growth is held back by the gender gap in STEM fields.