TORONTO: Twenty high school students from across Canada gathered this week at the 2021 STEM Entrepreneurship Experience at York University, Lassonde School of Engineering.
Delivered by the Bergeron Entrepreneurs in Science and Technology (BEST) program, the four-day, intensive experience is designed to help engineering and science students develop business skills and entrepreneurial mindsets to help them understand what it takes to launch a startup enterprise.
Twenty winners and finalists from across Canada participate in day one of the STEM Entrepreneurship Experience at York University, Lassonde School of Engineering, August 2021.
“The BEST program at Lassonde School of Engineering is one of the most innovative and practical STEM initiatives in the country,” says Reni Barlow, executive director at Youth Science Canada.
“Exploring STEM through projects is one thing – bringing them to market is quite another. Our country desperately needs this type of program to help youth develop the competencies and confidence they need to determine the commercial viability of their projects and bring them to market effectively and efficiently. STEM exploration and innovation is at its best when it leads to a tangible impact on the lives of people.”
Held via web conference, August 17 to 20, the program allows participating students to meet virtually with fellow entrepreneurs, network with former BEST graduates and experience the process of transforming their science projects into a viable business, supported by BEST faculty and resources at York University and the Lassonde School of Engineering.
“It has been so rewarding to see our innovators ramp up their aspirations to use their innovations to address important issues,” says Andrew Maxwell, director of the BEST program.
“The experience helps young innovators gain new skills as they develop their ideas through a structured learning journey, benefiting from experienced mentors and access to entrepreneurial tools, that help them grow as entrepreneurs while increasing the likelihood of establishing a successful venture.”
Fourteen of the twenty participants in the 2021 program are recipients of the Ted Rogers Innovation Award, received as part of the first virtual Canada-Wide Science Fair, held May 17 to 21, 2021.
In addition to the 12 students who earned a scholarship through CWSF-2021, another three were awarded scholarships to the program from York University. Winners were selected based on the students’ entrepreneurial spirit and their virtual 2021 CWSF project’s potential for commercial viability.
The complete list of winners and finalists from the virtual 2021 Canada-Wide Science Fair can be found at projectboard. world. The Canada-Wide Science Fair 2022 – the event’s 60th edition – will be held virtually, May 16 to 20 2022, and hosted by the City of Fredericton, New Brunswick.
STEM Entrepreneurship Experience Youth Science Canada and Bergeron Entrepreneurs in Science and Technology in conjunction with Lassonde’s K2I Academy, offer Canada’s top young innovators an opportunity to develop their science projects into a viable business. Importantly, the experiential learning approach helps participants learn both the creative problem-solving skills they will need for future career success and how they might personally contribute to generating Canada’s next high-growth technology ventures. For more information, visit bestlassonde.ca.
About Youth Science Canada Youth Science Canada fuels the curiosity of Canadian youth through STEM projects. A registered charity incorporated in 1962, YSC delivers on its mission through national programs including mySTEMspace, the National STEM Fair Network, Canada-Wide Science Fair, STEM Expo, Team Canada representation at international youth STEM competitions and events, and Smarter Science professional development for teachers. Through these programs, YSC provides direct support to the more than 500,000 students who do STEM projects in any given year. For more information, visit youthscience.ca.