Students in southern Ontario will have new opportunities to learn about scientific research and development thanks to MP Cheryl Gallant, (Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke) and to a Government of Canada investment in the Deep River Science Academy (DRSA).

“Our government recognizes that to keep Eastern Ontario’s economy growing and to create jobs in the future, more young people need to pursue an education or career in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” said MP Gallant. “I am pleased that the Deep River Science Academy will be able to expand on its successful summer science immersion program and bring online learning activities to classrooms throughout the school year.”

With FedDev Ontario funding of up to $132,777, DRSA will deliver Inreach, a long-distance, web-based education program connecting high school students in classrooms to university-level researchers conducting lab experiments. Prepared video clips of the experiment will be posted online for student viewing, followed by weekly interactive sessions with tutors and research supervisors working at the Neutron Beam Centre in Atomic Energy of Canada’s lab facilities in Chalk River. Students will have an opportunity to provide input on the experiments and also travel to the lab during the school term for a site visit. It is expected that the inaugural launch of DRSA Inreach will be in September 2011.

The investment is being provided through FedDev Ontario’s Youth STEM Initiative, aimed at encouraging students in kindergarten through grade 12 to pursue an education or career in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

“We are very pleased to have been awarded funding through the STEM Initiative,” said Karen Sullivan, Executive Director of the Deep River Science Academy. “With this funding, we look forward to providing enrichment during the school year to engage youth in science and engineering research.  The Inreach program will allow students the opportunity to make real contributions to the body of scientific knowledge as they work with professional scientists in ongoing research projects.”

FedDev Ontario was created thanks to the efforts of MP Cheryl Gallant and her government colleagues who saw the need for a local, federal government development agency to support businesses and communities in rural eastern and southern Ontario. Now in its second year of operation, the Agency has launched a number of initiatives to create a Southern and Eastern Ontario Advantage. and place ridings like Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke in a strong position to compete in the global economy. “I am pleased to support education opportunities for our youth for the jobs of tomorrow,” concluded Cheryl Gallant, MP.

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