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1,400 students and teachers to participate in Canada’s largest STEM event for kids

May 12, 2016

University of Toronto Engineering, Google and Actua partner on Innovate U, a day-long STEM event for children in grades 3–8, featuring hands-on coding, circuitry and more

Toron­to, ON – More than 1,400 stu­dents from Grades 3–8 will descend on the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to on Fri­day, May 13 for Inno­vate U, a mas­sive day of hands-on activ­i­ties cel­e­brat­ing sci­ence, tech­nol­o­gy, engi­neer­ing and math (STEM) and the pow­er of inno­va­tion. The one-day event is a first-of-its-kind part­ner­ship between U of T Engi­neer­ing, Google Cana­da and Actua, Canada’s largest STEM out­reach char­i­ty.

Inno­vate U will engage youth in activ­i­ties where they are engi­neer­ing, build­ing and invent­ing their own inno­va­tions and tech­nol­o­gy – from robot­ics and genet­ics to roller­coast­ers and video games.

Stu­dents and teach­ers from 45 class­es across the Greater Toron­to Area will peek under the sur­face of today’s tech, includ­ing smart­phones, 3D print­ers and solar cars, to under­stand how they work—all while expe­ri­enc­ing the post-sec­ondary envi­ron­ment in a fun and acces­si­ble way.

“Engi­neers are the inno­va­tors, mak­ers and cre­ators solv­ing the world’s great­est chal­lenges, from writ­ing code that con­trols rovers on Mars, to design­ing robots that per­form surgery on your cells,” says Dawn Brit­ton, direc­tor of out­reach for U of T Engi­neer­ing. “We want to show stu­dents that tech­nol­o­gy doesn’t just come in a box — any­one can learn the skills you need to make it work bet­ter, go faster, or even invent some­thing total­ly new.”

The day kicks off with a talk from inno­va­tor and young entre­pre­neur Ann Makosin­s­ki. Her first toy was a box of tran­sis­tors, and she’s been cre­at­ing ever since — in 2013 she won the glob­al Google Sci­ence Fair for invent­ing the ‘Hol­low Flash­light’, which uses the ther­mo­elec­tric effect to con­vert radi­ant body heat into elec­tric­i­ty, and in 2014 was named one of TIME’s 30 Under 30.

Stu­dents will par­tic­i­pate in a series of one-hour work­shops explor­ing the basics of cod­ing, play­ing with cir­cuit­ry and learn­ing about poly­mers by mak­ing slime. They will also have the chance to vis­it the Inno­va­tion Cen­tre, fea­tur­ing exhibits and demon­stra­tions includ­ing a stu­dent-built Indy 500 race car, Google Card­board, 3D Self­ies, Code Cre­at­ed Music and more.

“The aim behind Inno­vate U is to inspire Canada’s next gen­er­a­tion of tech­nol­o­gy builders,” said Sam Sebas­t­ian, Man­ag­ing Direc­tor of Google Cana­da. “Nine­ty-eight per­cent of Google engi­neers had some lev­el of expo­sure to com­put­er sci­ence and tech­nol­o­gy before enter­ing uni­ver­si­ty. Events like today will help Cana­di­an chil­dren under­stand that com­put­er sci­ence is not sim­ply the lan­guage of ones and zeros. It’s the lan­guage of cre­ativ­i­ty, entre­pre­neur­ship and Canada’s future poten­tial.”

Actua CEO Jen­nifer Flana­gan added, “Actua is hap­py to be sup­port­ing Inno­vate U. It not only pre­pares youth to be the STEM pro­fes­sion­als of tomor­row but shows them they have the skills and capac­i­ty to inno­vate today.”

About the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to Fac­ul­ty of Applied Sci­ence & Engi­neer­ing

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Toronto’s Fac­ul­ty of Applied Sci­ence & Engi­neer­ing is the pre­mier engi­neer­ing school in Cana­da and among the best in the world. Through excel­lence in engi­neer­ing edu­ca­tion and research, we pre­pare the next gen­er­a­tion of glob­al engi­neer­ing lead­ers and inno­va­tors to address the world’s most crit­i­cal chal­lenges. Through our out­reach pro­grams, more than 7,000 ele­men­tary and high school stu­dents of all back­grounds are inspired by sci­ence, tech­nol­o­gy, engi­neer­ing and math each year.

About Google Cana­da

Google’s mis­sion is to orga­nize the world’s infor­ma­tion and make it uni­ver­sal­ly acces­si­ble and use­ful.  As a glob­al tech­nol­o­gy leader, Google’s inno­va­tions in web search and adver­tis­ing have made its web­site a top inter­net prop­er­ty and its brand one of the most rec­og­nized in the world. Google Cana­da has offices in Water­loo, Toron­to, Mon­tre­al, and Ottawa with over 400 ‘Canooglers’ work­ing on teams across Engi­neer­ing, Sales, Mar­ket­ing, PR, Pol­i­cy, and HR. Engi­neers at Google Cana­da work on many of com­pa­ny’s core prod­ucts includ­ing Chrome, Safe Brows­ing, and Gmail; while the Sales Teams assist Cana­di­an busi­ness­es with their dig­i­tal adver­tis­ing strate­gies.

About Actua

Actua is Canada’s lead­ing sci­ence, tech­nol­o­gy, engi­neer­ing and math­e­mat­ics (STEM) youth out­reach net­work rep­re­sent­ing 33 uni­ver­si­ty and col­lege based mem­bers. Over 3 mil­lion young Cana­di­ans have been inspired through their par­tic­i­pa­tion in Actua’s hands on edu­ca­tion­al work­shops, camps and com­mu­ni­ty out­reach ini­tia­tives. Each year, Actua’s grow­ing net­work of mem­ber orga­ni­za­tions reach over 250,000 young Cana­di­ans in over 500 com­mu­ni­ties nation­wide. At the nation­al lev­el Actua focus­es on the engage­ment of under­rep­re­sent­ed audi­ences 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: Google Cana­da, Sun­cor Ener­gy Foun­da­tion, GE Cana­da and the Nat­ur­al Sci­ences and Engi­neer­ing Research Coun­cil of Cana­da. For more infor­ma­tion about Actua, vis­it


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