The Saskatchewan Science Centre has partnered with IBM and its subsidiary, ISM Canada, as part of IBM’s Celebration of Service through which IBM employees, retirees and business partners donate their time and expertise in communities around the world during IBM’s Centennial year.
On June 15, the Science Centre is hosting the third of many robotics workshops planned for this year using special educational robotics kits and laptops donated by IBM and valued at $10,000. Volunteers from IBM, ISM Canada, and the Science Centre will lead today’s robotics workshops for Imperial Community School students from Grades 6 through 8. Over the course of 2011, about 100 volunteers from IBM and the community are expected to participate in the program.
“The Saskatchewan Robotics Challenge workshop is a perfect fit for us, truly inspiring minds through science and innovation,” said Saskatchewan Science Centre Executive Director Sandy Baumgartner. “Our volunteers make learning fun and accessible, and they help the students see the possibilities for futures in science.”
The Saskatchewan Robotics Challenge places special emphasis on reaching out to young people from First Nations and Aboriginal schools. “We’re finding that our First Nations are under-represented in science and technology careers, and we want to help change that,” said Hugh Hudson, IBM’s Senior Location Executive for Saskatchewan. “The Robotics Challenge workshop is a way of opening career doors. Students become more aware of the possibilities, and we hope they discover that the experience of building a robot with one of our mentor-volunteers sparks their interest in learning more about future careers in technology.”
In recognition of 100 years in business, the 2011 IBM Celebration of Service spans more than 120 countries where IBMers live and conduct business. The Saskatchewan Science Centre offers over 20 curriculum-based workshops designed to supplement what educators are teaching, or to introduce new concepts using resources not available at every school.