100 Days of Innovation showcases how Canadian youth are applying skills in innovation and science to save lives, help the planet, and create new possibilities for Canadian technology
CALGARY, AB, Jan. 30, 2023 /CNW/ – In celebration of MindFuel’s mission to engage young Canadians in the exciting world of STEM innovation, they are kicking off 100 Days of Youth Innovation. Over the next 100 days, Canadians can follow along on social media to see the faces and innovations that have kept MindFuel at the forefront of developing Canada’s talent pool.
Every year, MindFuel makes a vital difference in providing youth with the skills, confidence, and learning environments to foster STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and innovation knowledge development. MindFuel serves more than 1,600 communities across the country and has invested more than $120 million to help prepare youth to be active contributors to Canada’s innovation ecosystem.
“MindFuel’s particular focus is on under-represented youth and, specifically, making the innovation space accessible to them,” says Cassy Weber, CEO of MindFuel. “Thanks to generous donations from organizations like Cenovus Energy and Future Skills Centre, we’re able to provide female, Indigenous, newcomers, racialized, and economically disadvantaged youth with more resources than ever before. We are helping to build the blocks of a stronger and more diverse STEM workforce, which is critical to Canada’s future. Right now, the under 30 demographic in Canada represents 20 per cent of our total population and of these, 6.4 million are under-represented in the innovation sector.”
During the next 100 days, a selection of student projects will be featured on MindFuel’s social media channels. Some of the innovations include:
- A prosthetic hand that has the functional capacity of a human hand (Siksika Nation High School, 2020)
- Utilizing recombinant protein from snake venom to prevent fatal hemorrhage with traumatic injuries (Lethbridge High School, 2016)
- ‘Sugar saver’ dissolvable tabs to make food taste naturally sweet (Ted Harrison School Calgary, 2018)
- A sustainable event planning app that teaches users how much greenhouse gas their event is emitting and provides greener alternatives (Canmore, Alta, 2021)
- Self-charging batteries for electric cars (Calgary, 2021)
“Canada offers some of the best education in K-12 and post-secondary of all OECD countries, yet we consistently rank low in the top OECD listings. MindFuel does a really good job of incentivizing our youth talent, to remain in Canada and to build meaningful connections to mentors and industry. There is a particular focus on 15- to 25-year-olds, who are currently under-served,” says MindFuel board chair, Shahauna Siddiqui.
Youth projects are extracurricular, developed by teams of seven to ten people, with each person dedicating 100 to 400 hours of innovation learning each year. Through MindFuel’s Tech Futures Challenge (TFC) youth are immersed in transformative learning through mentorship, peer collaboration, experiential learning, and building networks for continuous improvement.
Developed over ten years, TFC moves youth from foundational skills and knowledge development through to ideation and prototyping, through workshops, project-based learning, mentor network development, peer-based connections, and facilitation of project development through subject matter experts. Areas of focus in TFC include digital literacy and coding, robotics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, synthetic biology, nanotechnology, and computational solutioning.
The MindFuel Foundation is a registered charitable organization committed to creating young innovators. Since 1990, we have been developing and distributing captivating, high-quality, 21st century programs that ignite a passion for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) innovation in students of all ages. The programs are technology based and technology infused, developed to serve both in-class and extracurricular learning. To date, MindFuel has invested over $120M into Canada’s innovation ecosystem in over 1,600 communities. It serves underrepresented youth populations, including Indigenous students, girls in STEM, the economically disadvantaged, remote/rural students, and newcomers to Canada.
MindFuel also delivers eLearning programming through its wholly owned subsidiary, Wonderville Enterprises Ltd., which reaches hundreds of thousands of teachers, students, and parents each year in every province and territory, supporting over 600,000 learning sessions annually in Canada, and over 6,000,000 globally. Since inception, MindFuel has delivered over 147,000,000 learning sessions in over 190 countries with its online STEM programs.