Archived — New Initiative Encourages Young People to Discover Careers in Science and Tech

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FedDev Ontario Invests in Southern Ontario's Future Leaders

For immediate release
November 29, 2010

Welland, Ontario — Students and youth in southern Ontario will have new opportunities to explore the benefits of a career in the sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through a new Government of Canada funding initiative. The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) and Science and Technology, announced the new Youth STEM initiative today at a local high school.

"Canada needs more young women and men in science, technology, engineering and math to ensure our country's future economic growth and ability to create new jobs," said Minister Goodyear. "Youth STEM will give students the chance to discover and learn about exciting opportunities in these areas."

Youth STEM will provide up to $20 million for not-for-profit organizations to enhance or expand educational science and technology outreach programs that increase young people's awareness about the rewards of pursuing an education or career in the sciences.

"Let's Talk Science connects outstanding role models who are highly experienced in science and engineering with youth to engage them in meaningful, real-world science-based experiences and showcase career opportunities," said Dr. Bonnie Schmidt, founder and president, Let's Talk Science, a national, non-profit, science outreach organization. "Today's announcement will engage youth and will show them the possibilities science offers for their future."

The Youth STEM initiative is a direct result of feedback from business leaders, academics and community leaders from across southern Ontario, who encouraged FedDev Ontario to take a role in addressing the ability of young people to meet future labour market needs by developing the next generation of STEM leaders to fuel business innovation in southern Ontario.

FedDev Ontario was created as part of Canada's Economic Action Plan to support businesses and communities in southern Ontario. Now in its second year of operation, the Agency has launched a number of initiatives to create a Southern Ontario Advantage and place the region in a strong position to compete in the global economy. These initiatives are designed to support businesses and other organizations through partnerships and investments in skills and training; innovation; research and development; and increased productivity. To learn more, please visit or call 1-866-593-5505.

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For more information, contact:

Gary Toft
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear

Media Relations
FedDev Ontario


Youth STEM

FedDev Ontario's Youth STEM initiative will strengthen the region's position in the knowledge-based economy by encouraging young people to pursue education and careers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Youth STEM will provide up to $20 million to support not-for-profit organizations to expand, enhance and coordinate the reach and impact of their current educational STEM outreach programs for children and youth in southern Ontario.

Eligible activities that will be supported under the initiative include:

  • The development, enhancement and delivery of learning activities (e.g., workshops, demonstrations, science fairs, competitions, mentorships, enrichment programs or camps and early learning activities);
  • Collaborative activities with other outreach organizations with the aim of coordinating and focusing efforts and broadening the impact of existing programs in southern Ontario; and
  • Other activities to broaden the impact and reach of programs in southern Ontario.

Contributions under this initiative are not expected to exceed $2 million per applicant.

Applications will be accepted and assessed on an ongoing basis and applicants will be notified as their projects are approved. All project activities must be completed prior to March 31, 2014.

For more information, please refer to the Program Guidelines available on the website at

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