Strategic Priorities

Our Strategic Intentions and Guiding Principles

Society is becoming more dependent on science, engineering and technology every single day. Scientists in School is focused on building a nation of scientifically curious children who are actively engaged in the seeing, doing and understanding of science. Whether children pursue science careers or not, their appreciation of how science works, the values it teaches, the critical thinking it requires, and the responsible actions it demands, will have impacts far beyond our imagining. Our work is guided by the following intentions and principles:

Benefits for Youth

Bright Futures for All Children

All children, when given the opportunity, have the potential to do great things in this world. We want to position all youth, especially those with access to fewer STEM and other educational enrichment opportunities, with the interest, skills, confidence and motivation to engage in STEM, understand the role of STEM in the world around them, and pursue STEM careers.

Role Models for Youth Empowerment

Our goal is to provide empowering interactions between passionate, well-trained STEM role models and young scientists. By providing children the opportunity to see scientists of all genders and cultural backgrounds through all our interactions, we hope to help children build confidence in their STEM skills and increase their belief that they can pursue, and be successful in, any STEM career that they dream about.

Memorable Experiences

We want to provide joyful, rich and engaging workshops that kids talk about all week, tell their families about, list as one of the top best experiences in their school year, and can describe in detail years later in their high school and adult lives.

Benefits for Teachers and Parents

Teachers and Parents/Guardians Become Empowered Through Mentorship

Our passionate workshop presenters with a diverse range of STEM pathways and careers provide non-intimidating mentorship to elementary teachers, and STEM exploration ideas for parents/guardians who teachers frequently invite to help during the workshop.

Extending the Experience After The Workshop is Done

We offer tons of free resources, including post-workshop extension packages, and our Spotlight STEM Career Interview Videos, so that the learning can continue long after the workshop ends!

Maximizing the Benefits of Scientists in School’s Impact By:

Students participating in a STEM workshop.

Building Strong Relationships

We believe in the well-known adage, ‘If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” We commit significant time and energy into building trusting and collaborative relationships with the communities we work in, and with the school boards, schools, donors, and community organizations we work with. We use these relationships to learn how we can best support young scientists, educators, school boards, community organizations, corporations and other stakeholders.

Ensuring all Customers Feel Valued and Supported

We believe in a people-centric approach that ensures that all customers and participants feel valued and supported, and we strive to go the extra mile to meet evolving needs.

Providing Rich and Engaging Programming That Evolves as STEM Education and Curriculum Changes

We prioritize high-quality programming and continuous improvement. We commit to reviewing our programming and content on an on-going basis, with feedback from a variety of sources, to ensure it complements provincial curriculum, 21st Century Skills development, and evolving STEM education practices.

Ensuring Research and Measurement and Using the Data to Optimize Youth STEM Interest, Confidence and Engagement

We use extensive third-party research and an evidence-based approach to measure the impact of our workshops on a suite of key youth outcomes: increased STEM interest, heightened STEM confidence, and increased understanding of the relevance of STEM in the world around them. We then use the data to maximize impact by incorporating learnings into program development and delivery.

Societal Benefits

Economic Growth, a Next Generation of Innovators and Researchers, and a Skilled Workforce for Canada

We strive to increase our impact across Canada in order to maximize opportunities for all children to grow up to become the next generation of researchers, innovators, environmental stewards, and thoughtful and informed citizens. This goal is supported through two investigative workshop models – on-site and virtual – and two program streams – classroom and community.

It is crucial to help close gaps for STEM participation in Canada’s workforce for girls, Indigenous youth, Black youth, newcomers, youth in communities experiencing poverty, and youth in rural and remote communities. Here are our key action areas aimed at tackling inequities in STEM education and careers:

Students participating in a STEM workshop about soil.
  • Establishing partnerships with like-minded supporters to close the proportional representation gap for schools either serving low income communities or in remote or rural communities. A few ways that we are working to achieve this are:
  • Adding a virtual workshop model for communities where it’s not feasible for our presenters to travel. To ensure a rich, engaging investigative experience, individually-packaged curated materials are shipped ahead for children to use while presenters guide them through investigations virtually, allowing for plentiful interaction with the ”visiting” scientist.
  • Launching our Adopt-a-School and a Lift-a-School programs with aggressive goals and focused strategies to achieve proportional representation for youth in schools serving low income communities. From 400 annual complimentary workshops when we launched the Adopt-a-School program in 2016, our partnerships now ensure over 2,000 complimentary workshops are provided each year. We have progressed both our impact and our learning. Now we are focused on tripling this number by 2026. By setting challenging goals, measuring results, working together as a team and marshalling partnerships, we are working every day to fulfill our intentions. We applaud each step towards equity, and have seen firsthand that lots of small steps forward lead to great outcomes.