Funding helps BU Mini University extend STEM programming for kids and youth

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BRANDON – While Mini University has wrapped up for the season and the fall academic semester is in full swing, planning is already underway for next summer’s child- and youth-friendly Mini-U learning camps.

Federal funding from Actua, through the CanCode program, will provide $80,000 in new student and teacher training over the next two years, with a focus on digital and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education.

“This is great news, recognizing that we have made tremendous strides in STEM programming already, and this new funding will help us continue those efforts and provide free new options for hundreds of local students and teachers,” said Nancy Stanley, director of BU’s Mini University program.

“We look forward to expanding our existing work to reach even more youth with inspiring, hands-on coding and digital skills programming.”

Actua is a national organization that represents 38 STEM outreach programs like BU’s across the country and was the largest recipient of phase two of CanCode federal funding. The funding was announced over the summer.

Mini U logoAt Mini-U, the funding will be used to continue free coding and digital skills experiences for youth and to develop new ones, specifically for youth who are underrepresented.

Mini-U will also have more capacity to grow existing initiatives for girls, Indigenous youth, at-risk youth, and those facing socioeconomic challenges, and to engage teachers in professional development training

“Our programs are promoting the development of digital skills so that youth move away from being passive consumers of technology to active producers of technology. We are promoting quality productive screen time and helping parents to identify opportunities for their kids to engage in technology in productive, confidence building ways,” Stanley said. “This is a significant investment that will help us not only reach more youth, but deliver deeper impact programming through longer, repeat engagements instead of one-off exposure activities.”


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