Two girls and an instructor work on a robot during a Virtual Ventures program.

Carleton University’s Virtual Ventures Receives CanCode Funds to Expand Digital Youth Programs

Carleton University’s Virtual Ventures (VV) was awarded $90,000 as a network member of Actua to scale up hands-on coding and digital skills programs for youth in the Ottawa area.

Actua was the largest recipient of funding from the Government of Canada’s $50-million CanCode program, first announced in the 2017 budget.

“Virtual Ventures is very excited to be a part of this amazing project,” said Director Christine Riddell. “This funding from Actua as part of CanCode will enable us to expand our programs and offer additional opportunities for under-represented youth.”

VV is among 35 network members to receive funding and will work with colleagues to develop and exchange content to inspire Canada’s next generation of innovators.

“We are honoured to be a recipient of CanCode funding and thrilled to provide additional support to Virtual Ventures so that they may engage more youth in building digital skills,” said Jennifer Flanagan, president and CEO of Actua. “This support means that thousands more youth in Ottawa area will have the opportunity to access free, deep-impact, face-to-face learning experiences which are critical to their future success and our future Canadian workforce.”

With its CanCode funding, Actua will reach 500,000 youth and more than 10,000 teachers across every province and territory through its network.

“Coding is the next big job,” said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. “Industries ranging from automotive and agri-food to the life sciences and clean technology need coders, given their increasingly digital nature. That’s why our government is equipping Canadian youth with the digital skills they need for the jobs of the future. By teaching kids to code today, we’re positioning Canada for future success across all industries and sectors.”

About Virtual Ventures: Virtual Ventures is a not-for-profit organization run under the Faculty of Engineering and Design at Carleton University. It offers nationally recognized technology and engineering programs for youth who have completed junior kindergarten to Grade 11. Programs run through Virtual Ventures include summer camp, fall and winter clubs, school outreach workshops, and girls outreach events. Virtual Ventures provides the youth of Ottawa with stimulating experiences in all aspects of computers, information technology, engineering, and science.

About Actua: Actua is Canada’s leading science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) youth outreach network representing 35 university and college based members. Each year 250,000 young Canadians in more than 500 communities nationwide are inspired through hands-on educational workshops, camps and community outreach initiatives. Actua focuses on the engagement of under-represented youth through specialized programs for Indigenous youth, girls and young women, at-risk youth and youth living in Northern and remote communities. Actua’s major funders include: Government of Canada, Google Canada, Suncor Energy Foundation, GE Canada, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Finning, Toyota Canada Foundation and Lockheed Martin. For more information about Actua, visit actua.ca.

About CanCode:  The CanCode program will invest $50 million over two years, starting in 2017-‘18, to support initiatives providing educational opportunities for coding and digital skills development to Canadian youth from kindergarten to Grade 12 (K-12). The program aims to equip youth, including traditionally under-represented groups, with the skills and study incentives they need to be prepared for the jobs of today and the future. Canada’s success in the digital economy depends on leveraging our diverse talent and providing opportunity for all to participate—investing in digital skills development will help to achieve this.

Media Contact
Steven Reid
Media Relations Officer
Carleton University
613-520-2600, ext. 8718
613-265-6613
Steven_Reid3@Carleton.ca

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