CNL and FSST partner on workforce development

22 January 2018

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) is teaming up with the Foundation for Student Science and Technology (FSST) to launch a new series of national programmes "targeted to exceptional young people pursuing innovative careers in science, technology, engineering, arts and maths" (STEAM). The first two programmes will target young women and future leaders.

The first programme to be launched by the partnership is a new publication that will "inform, inspire and spark discussion" aimed at encouraging women to pursue and sustain careers in science, technology and innovation. The programme - codenamed 'Project W' - aims to help young women establish and build peer network of support, encouragement and information and by serving as a compendium of formal and informal scientific and social research, development programmes, and other work in the area". Two issues of the publication are planned for the first year, with more issues planned for subsequent years.

FSST executive director Jacques Guerette said, "The career challenges for women in STEAM disciplines are many, varied and reasonably well recognised. Project W is trying to help women tackle some of these challenges by creating a new platform that offers encouraging and pragmatic information, research and other useful resources."

The second programme - called 'The Grand Challenge for Discovery and Innovation' - is a national competition intended to "stretch and showcase the imagination and ingenuity of future leaders in science, technology and innovation". Canadian high school students will submit research proposals to a competitive, peer-review process designed to evaluate the quality of the research work.

Students with the highest-scoring proposals will have the opportunity to complete their research projects using the full range of facilities at CNL's Chalk River facility in Ontario. They can also formally publish their results in the FSST's peer-reviewed Journal of Student Science and Technology. The highest-scoring entrant will be awarded a significant scholarship to a Canadian university.

FSST is a national, not-for-profit organisation dedicated to developing the career potential of exceptional high school, college and university students for leadership roles in science, technology, engineering and maths.

In a joint statement, nuclear science and technology organisation CNL and FSST said the aim of their partnership "is to help cultivate an innovative workforce essential for meeting the country's economic needs for years to come".

CNL president and CEO Mark Lesinski said, "It is widely recognised that future Canadian growth and prosperity will heavily depend on our ability to create and innovate. If we are to continue to compete and succeed globally, and maintain the quality and way of life to which we are accustomed, it is essential to build and grow a strong, capable STEAM-based workforce. The programmes that we are launching are intended to help do just that."

Guerette added, "These new programmes will challenge our young people and provide some much needed support and encouragement as they consider career options in science, technology and innovation. In particular, they will help draw out and develop leadership qualities absolutely essential to future success."

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News