Education and Early Childhood Development
Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation
April 16, 2018

Fostering Youth Innovation through Coding and Technology

The Honourable Dale Kirby, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, and the Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore, Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation, today announced significant funding to support the Provincial Government’s commitment to encourage innovation among youth through increased exposure to coding and participation in youth technology experience programs.

The Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation announced $250,000 to support a partnership between the Provincial Government and Brilliant Labs to provide youth in grades K-12 with hands-on participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) focused activities.

The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development is providing $150,000 aimed specifically at professional learning and resources for schools and is also providing two itinerant teaching units to support Brilliant Labs work.

Brilliant Labs is an Atlantic Canadian organization that supports coding, computational thinking and Maker Education in schools. This funding will assist Brilliant Labs to provide educational technologies in Newfoundland and Labrador schools such as interface equipment, sensors, programming languages, and 3D printing. To start, Brilliant Labs will engage and support students and educators in elementary schools throughout the province.

Brilliant Labs builds upon STEM, an interdisciplinary and applied approach that educates and encourages students in four specific disciplines – science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This program has a proven track record in the delivery of coding and technology content to educators and students, as well as engaging community partners and industry throughout Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Brilliant Labs will give students in Newfoundland and Labrador an opportunity to reach their full potential to become tomorrow’s educators, researchers, and leaders, while expanding the pool and capacity of future entrepreneurs and innovators.

The Provincial Government is committed to the advancement of technology in the classroom. This partnership with Brilliant Labs aligns with key initiatives of The Way Forward, such as the Premier’s Task Force on Improving Educational Outcomes, the recently released Technology Work Plan and the Business Innovation Agenda. A goal of the Technology Work Plan is to enhance the development of K-12 technology skills through engagement with the technology industry, including increased exposure to coding and participation in youth technology experience programs.

In addition, this work builds on the Provincial Government’s partnerships with the aquaculture and agriculture industries to foster new economic development and job creation throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. Details regarding progress to date with these sectors, and the current status of other economic development initiatives, are now available online at thewayforward.gov.nl.ca.

Actions to advance the mining, forestry, and community sectors will be officially launched at sector summit events later this year.

Quotes
“Our government recognizes that entrepreneurs and innovators will be catalysts for our province’s future economic success. That is why today’s announcement with Brilliant Labs to foster creativity through coding and technology will give our students an opportunity to reach their full potential – to become innovators, educators, researchers, and leaders. Partnering with Brilliant Labs will help build this capacity throughout our province’s communities, and provide relevant academic strategies to integrate technology with curricular outcomes. We want to develop creative problem solvers and leaders who continue to drive innovative, leading edge technology that make Newfoundland and Labrador a world leader and a place to invest.”
Honourable Dale Kirby
Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development

“As a government, we are striving to create a stronger, more innovative and diversified economy. Our focus is to encourage creative thinking, to generate new ideas, to help solve problems. This program will build interest in the science and technology fields from an early age, and guide our students to be more analytical and inventive, and supports one of the goals of our Technology Work Plan. We are committed to innovation, and fostering creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit. Today’s announcement will kick start these objectives and help establish Brilliant Labs in Newfoundland and Labrador.”
Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore
Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation

“Empowering our youth and our educators is crucial in ensuring the well-being and growth of our region. We are very grateful for the opportunity to support this initiative which will energize a multi-sector collaboration designed to inspire and engage the young people of Newfoundland and Labrador in developing the coding and digital skills they will need to play an active role in shaping a socially responsible and technologically advanced future.”
Jeff Wilson
Brillant Labs

“Building the workforce of tomorrow begins with creating the right learning opportunities in the K-12 system today, and it’s for that reason that NATI has been a strong advocate for coding in schools. Today’s announcement is an important step in opening the minds of our children to technology and innovation, and developing skills in these areas at a much younger age.”
Kendra MacDonald
NATI

- 30 -

Learn More
Brilliant Labs - www.brilliantlabs.ca external link icon

Premier’s Task Force on Improving Educational Outcomes - www.ed.gov.nl.ca/edu/task_force/report.pdf PDF

Business Innovation Agenda - www.tcii.gov.nl.ca/innovation/pdf/BIA.pdf PDF

Tech Sector Work Plan - www.tcii.gov.nl.ca/technologysummit/pdf/Technology_Workplan_Final.pdf PDF

Follow us on Twitter: @GovNL external link icon, @TCII_GovNL external link icon and @EDU_GovNL external link icon

Media contacts
Tina Coffey
Education and Early Childhood Development
709-729-1692, 728-8650
tcoffey@gov.nl.ca

Eric Humber
Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation
709-729-4819
erichumber@gov.nl.ca

Jeff Wilson
Brillant Labs
506-442-9059
Jeff@brilliantlabs.ca

Nancy Drover
NATI
709-757-3253
Nancy@nati.net

2018 04 16                             11:45 a.m.