UQAT to be first university to host the Quebec Aboriginal Science Fair, in March

UQAT to be first university to host the Quebec Aboriginal Science Fair, in March

Canada NewsWire

VAL-D’OR, QC, Feb. 21, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ - This March, the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT) campus in Val-d’Or will host the 18th edition of the Quebec Aboriginal Science Fair (QASF), an event organized in partnership with the Quebec Aboriginal Science and Engineering Association (QASEA). From March 20 to 22, 2018, approximately 90 young scientists from some 20 communities and their chaperons will visit the UQAT campus in Val-d’Or.

Algonquin performer Samian will be the ambassador of the 18th edition of the Quebec Aboriginal Science Fair at UQAT. (CNW Group/Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT))

With Science, A Real FasciNATION! as its theme, this scientific competition is open to students from Grade 5 to Secondary 5. Invitations were sent to 56 Aboriginal communities in Quebec, from Nunavik to the Gaspé, and several schools have already expressed interest in participating again, this year.

UQAT seized the opportunity to host this important scientific competition, which usually takes place in Aboriginal communities. “It is a great honor, and it is with pride that we welcome the Quebec Aboriginal Science Fair to UQAT. Indeed, this very powerful event is a unique opportunity to shine a spotlight on Aboriginal youth from across Quebec,” asserts Mr. Denis Martel, UQAT President.

SAMIAN, Event Ambassador
Algonquin performer Samian agreed to be the ambassador for this edition, and will be on hand to meet the youths in person, during the Science Fair. Samian had no hesitation about his involvement: “This type of event is a unique opportunity to develop the full potential of our youth, to promote and share our cultures, and especially, to build relationships. As spokesperson for the 18th edition, I invite youths from all communities (Nations) in Quebec to participate in science projects, and register before March 12, 2018,” says Samian.

Eager Aboriginal Scientists
Some 20 judges will be in attendance at this 18th edition, among which are several Aboriginal scientists who come from the Attikamekw, Huron-Wendat, Innu, and Algonquin Nations.  More specifically, during the fair, the youths will present their science projects. Besides the jury, who will evaluate these projects, groups of students from schools in Val-d’Or and surrounding communities may visit the fair. At the close of the event, a banquet will be held, at which prizes will be awarded to stand-out projects in different categories. Up to 4 QASF winners may represent the Aboriginal Québec Autochtone region at the Canada-Wide Science Fair  (CWSF). They will compete with 500 of the best young Canadian scientists at the secondary to CEGEP level.  The CWSF takes place this year in Ottawa during the week of May 14. ”We want our youth to take their place in the sciences and the Quebec Aboriginal Science Fair brings them together and motivates them to show their aptitude, knowledge, and creativity in scientific fields,” declared Marc Lalande, QASEA’s President-Treasurer.

Enthusiastic Partners
This event is made possible thanks to our financial partners and sponsors: the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission, Indigenous Services Canada, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur, the Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones, as well as our presenting sponsor, Hydro-Québec, SNC-Lavalin, Pageau, Morel et associés Inc., the Ordre des Ingénieurs du Québec, the RBA Financial Group and the Native Commercial Credit Corporation.

About the Quebec Aboriginal Science and Engineering Association (QASEA)
QASEA is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to promote sciences and engineering to Aboriginal youth attending school in First Nations and Inuit Communities in Quebec. QASEA achieves its mission through the Aboriginal Science Fair Program, which enables youth to share scientific results, or conduct scientific experiments and to participate as finalists in the Quebec Aboriginal Science Fair, an event held since 1998.   


SOURCE Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT)

View original content with multimedia: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/February2018/21/c5679.html

Media Advisory – Minister Hajdu to highlight how the Government of Canada is helping more parents save for their children’s post-secondary education

Media Advisory – Minister Hajdu to highlight how the Government of Canada is helping more parents save for their children’s post-secondary education

Canada NewsWire

OTTAWA, Feb. 21, 2018 /CNW/ – The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, will visit the Boys and Girls Clubs of Thunder Bay to highlight how the Government of Canada is helping more parents save for their children’s post-secondary education.

A photo opportunity and media availability will follow.

Please note that all details are subject to change. All times are local.




Thursday, February 22, 2018



9:30 a.m.



Boys and Girls Clubs of Thunder Bay
270 Windsor Street
Thunder Bay, Ontario


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SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

View original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/February2018/21/c3281.html

Actua releases first of-its-kind Canadian survey on kids attitudes about coding

Actua releases first of-its-kind Canadian survey on kids attitudes about coding

Canada NewsWire

Major gender gaps and lack of opportunities among chief findings

OTTAWA, Feb. 21, 2018 /CNW/ – Today, Actua released the results of a first-of-its-kind survey, which assessed the confidence and attitudes of Canadian kids and parents toward coding, and jobs of the future. The results revealed a largely enthusiastic cohort of students and parents, but also a persistent gender gap, a socio-economic divide, and a concerning lack of opportunity to learn to code inside and outside of Canadian schools.

Actua (CNW Group/Actua)

The national survey, conducted by Abacus Research in January 2018, surveyed 1,500 young Canadians and their parents to unearth their attitudes and interest in education and careers that involve using, understanding and producing digital technologies – especially coding. The survey also looked at the extent to which these students had access to educational opportunities to learn coding both inside and outside of the traditional school environment.

“We know that we have a generation of enthusiastic users of new technology like smartphones, texting, video gaming and social media,” says Jennifer Flanagan, CEO and President, Actua. “What we were seeking was a better understanding of their attitudes and interest about future careers in coding and programming and their access to learning opportunities.”

Among the most revealing findings of the survey:

  • A healthy enthusiasm among children and parents. Over 92 per cent of students and parents believe that knowing how to use digital technology will be very or extremely important to their future careers.
  • Access is a problem. More than 50 per cent of youth want more opportunities to learn to code but only 1/3rd said they have access to that kind of opportunity.
  • The gender gap is deep.Over 50 percent of boys were very or extremely interested in careers involving coding or programming, but only 27 per cent of girls expressed the same interest.
    • Boys also express more confidence in their ability to code (41%) vs girls at only 28 per cent.
    • Boys are twice as likely as girls to participate in a coding program outside of schools.
  • There remains a socio-economic divide. Parents with a higher education and income regarded digital technologies and careers as more important than those with a lower education and income level.

“We have to do better for our girls,” says Flanagan. “Through access to coding in schools and workshops and by promoting female role models, we can begin to break down the persistent gender barriers that still prevent girls from actively seeking opportunities in the most important skills area for jobs of the future.”

We need girls to have the same exposure as boys to coding programs and we need to shift the narrative away from how girls need to change to fit into technology to how technology needs to change to welcome and support girls and women.

Actua was recently awarded $10 million of the Government of Canada’s $50 million CanCode program to support the charity’s initiatives. The funding will be used to support expanded coding programs for girls and young women, Indigenous and other at-risk youth, as well as  teacher training (providing teachers training in coding and digital skills as well as resources they can use in the classroom). Over the two-year period, Actua will engage 500,000 youth across every province and territory.

“We are on the cusp of major global shift toward careers that will require sophisticated digital skills,” said Flanagan. “Canada cannot afford to get it wrong. Our competitiveness and our economy will rely on our children having access to world-class coding, programming and STEM education.”

The full report can be found here.

Photo credit: Actua (CNW Group/Actua)


View original content with multimedia: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/February2018/21/c6915.html