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$2 million investment in science and coding will also help students connect with outer space

An federal investment of $2 million in ‘CanCode’ funding will support Let’s Talk Science’s digital skills program for Kindergarten to Grade 12 educators and youth.

Bay of Quinte MP Neil Ellis announced the investment in Let’s Talk Science last week. The national, charitable organization and a leading partner in Canadian education was funded through the Ministry of Innovation, Science and conomic Development’s CanCode program.

The funding is to enable Let’s Talk Science to facilitate development of digital skills for educators, children and youth across Canada.

“Coding is the next big job. Industries ranging from automotive and agri-food to the life sciences and clean technology need coders, given their increasingly digital nature,” saud Ellis. “That’s why our government is equipping Canadian youth with the digital skills they need for the jobs of the future. By teaching kids to code today, we’re positioning Canada for future success across all industries and sectors.”

Let’s Talk Science’s CanCode-funded project will include two components – professional learning workshops and a hands-on, citizen-science project.

The professional learning portion of the project will support a series of workshops focused on digital skill development for Kindergarten to Grade 12 educators. These workshops will take place in communities across Canada in 2018 and 2019, and include strategies teachers can use to build computational thinking skills among students.

The CanCode funding will also support the deployment of a large-scale citizen-science experiment.

Working with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), Let’s Talk Science’s action project will connect with CSA Astronaut David Saint-Jacques’ 2018-19 mission to the International Space Station (ISS).

Students will conduct real research on the challenges of space exploration, including the environmental conditions that affect space travel. Using computational thinking skills, students will analyze their data, propose and
evaluate solutions and contribute findings to a national database. The project is available to students across Canada during the 2018-2019 school year.

“In the next 10 years, over 70 per cent of jobs will require some background in science, technology, engineering and math,” says Bonnie Schmidt, president and founder, Let’s Talk Science. “The CanCode funding allows us to provide Canadian educators with access to our professional learning workshops and
an action project they can participate in with their students. By engaging in a real-time astronaut mission, we will engage learners in building critical skills such as computational thinking and coding in relevant and meaningful ways. CanCode funding will help Let’s Talk Science ensure students develop skills needed to thrive in a rapidly changing world.”

The CanCode program was initially announced by Navdeep Singh Bains, Minister Innovation, Science and Economic Development, to support initiatives for coding and digital skills development to Canadian youth. Funding for the CanCode program totaled $50 million over two years to go toward non-profit organizations providing educational opportunities focused on digital literacy.

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