Education and Early Childhood Development
April 17, 2018

The following statement was given today in the House of Assembly by the Honourable Dale Kirby, Minister of Education and Early Child Development:

Provincial Government Fosters Youth Innovation through Coding and Technology

Mr. Speaker, to increase exposure to coding and participation in youth technology experience programs, the Provincial Government announced $250,000 to support a partnership with Brilliant Labs for students in our K-12 schools with hands-on participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics-focused activities.

In addition to this new funding, the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development is providing $150,000 aimed specifically at professional learning and resources for schools, and the provision of two itinerant teaching units to support Brilliant Labs’ work.

Mr. Speaker, 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. A long-term goal of Brilliant Labs is to engage more partners to reach up to 45,000 students and more than 5,000 educators.

The Provincial Government is committed to the advancement of technology in the classroom. This partnership will give our students an opportunity to reach their full potential – to become innovators, educators, researchers and leaders. We want to develop creative problem solvers and entrepreneurs who continue to drive innovative, leading edge technology that makes Newfoundland and Labrador a world leader and a place to invest.

Mr. Speaker, this partnership aligns with key initiatives of The Way Forward, such as the Premier’s Task Force on Improving Educational Outcomes, the recently released Technology Sector Work Plan and the Business Innovation Agenda.

During yesterday’s coding announcement at Elizabeth Park Elementary, myself and the Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation, witnessed students putting coding principles into action through a classroom demonstration. Seeing these young people embrace new technology, and seeing that experience position them for success in the future, all speaks to how our government is Building for Our Future.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

2018 04 17                                                   1:55 p.m.