News Release

REF NO.: 45

SUBJECT: Engineering outreach office receives $95,000 to expand digital programming for youth

DATE: February 1, 2018

An engineering outreach office at Memorial University has received a federal funding boost of $95,000.

Memorial Engineering Outreach (MEO) is benefiting from CanCode, a $50-million fund announced in the 2017 federal budget to support the development of coding and digital skills for youth across Canada.

MEO, which is housed in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science at Memorial, received the funding through its membership with the Actua network. Actua was named the largest recipient of the Government of Canada funding program on Jan. 22.

“In the past two decades, knowledge of coding has moved from desirable-for-employment to basic life skill,” said Nick Whalen, member of Parliament, St. John’s East.

“Children need this skill to fully engage with their world. CanCode is our government’s down payment on Canada’s future. Young Canadians, of all backgrounds, will learn the digital skills not just for high-demand STEM jobs – but all fields of endeavour.”

The funding will go towards scaling up MEO’s community programming to reach even more local youth with inspiring, hands-on coding and digital skills experiences.

"This funding will have a tremendous impact on our science, technology, engineering and math programs,” said Kathryn Hong, co-ordinator for outreach activities.

“We have been offering digital literacy experiences to local youth since 2013. With these additional funds, we are in a position to significantly expand on our current resources and enhance our curriculum. CanCode funding will be instrumental in allowing us to make high-quality digital learning opportunities more accessible to youth in our region.”

MEO is one of 35 network members receiving CanCode funding through Actua. The organization will work with colleagues across the network to develop and exchange content that will help inspire Canada’s next generation of innovators.

“We are honoured to be a recipient of CanCode funding and are happy to provide additional support to Memorial Engineering Outreach to engage more youth in building digital skills,” said Jennifer Flanagan, president and CEO, Actua.

“This support means that thousands more youth in Newfoundland and Labrador will have the opportunity to access free, deep-impact, face-to-face learning experiences, which are critical to their future success and our future Canadian workforce.”

Actua’s 35 network members will reach 500,000 youth and more than 10,000 teachers across every province and territory with CanCode funding.


 About Memorial Engineering Outreach

Memorial Engineering Outreach, or MEO, operates with support from Memorial University’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. The office was established in 2013 to design and deliver science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs to Newfoundland and Labrador youth. MEO strives to make interactive STEM experiences more accessible to youth who may not otherwise be engaged and to inspire youth to discover the impact they can make with futures in STEM.

 About Actua

Actua is Canada’s leading science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) youth outreach network, representing 35 university and college-based members. Each year 250,000 young Canadians in more than 500 communities nationwide are inspired through hands-on educational workshops, camps and community outreach initiatives. Actua focuses on the engagement of underrepresented youth through specialized programs for Indigenous youth, girls and young women, at-risk youth and youth living in Northern and remote communities. Actua’s major funders include the Government of Canada, Google Canada, Suncor Energy Foundation, GE Canada, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Finning, Toyota Canada Foundation and Lockheed Martin. For more information about Actua, visit actua.ca.

About CanCode

The CanCode program is investing $50 million over two years (2017-18) to support initiatives providing educational opportunities for coding and digital skills development to Canadian youth from kindergarten to Grade 12. The program aims to equip youth, including traditionally underrepresented groups, with the skills and study incentives they need to be prepared for the jobs of today and the future. Canada's success in the digital economy depends on leveraging our diverse talent and providing opportunity for all to participate — investing in digital skills development will help to achieve this. 

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