Girl Power Science Day: Excellence in Corporate Collaboration

April 30, 2012

If ever there was an excellent example of multi-sectoral collaboration in the interest of inspiring a new generation of innovators, our partnership with GE Canada is it. GE Canada has invested heavily in Actua’s proven approach to inspiring youth to achieve their potential with a specific focus on engaging underrepresented youth audiences as a means to raise the bar of science literacy nationwide and to contribute to the development of a robust and diverse Canadian workforce.

But there is so much more to this type of investment than the provision of a cheque.

For the past six years, GE employees across Canada have given up Saturday mornings and summer afternoons to come to Actua events and camps with their sleeves rolled up, ready to pitch in and volunteer.

Case in point: This past Saturday, ten GE Canada volunteers at GE Motors in Peterborough pitched in at Girl Power Science Day to help 45 local Girl Guides receive their science, physics and chemistry badges. Actua instructors led a series of hands-on activities exposing girls to the fundamentals of physics, culinary chemistry and the optics and properties of light. The girls learned about water cohesion, exothermic and endothermic reactions, polymers, hydrogen bonding and more.

GE Canada volunteers shared their expertise to inspire the girls to understand how these experiences would help prepare them to fulfill their role as future innovators. They shared their personal stories, challenges and passions.

Since partnering with GE Canada, Actua has placed over 50 GE mentors at camps and events across Canada. This has resulted in the engagement of hundreds of youth who have seen first-hand how science, engineering and technology play an important part in shaping our world. These youth have seen unique examples of cutting edge advances in medical technology and have begun imagining for themselves how an innovation like a hand-held ultrasound device can change the way doctors diagnose illnesses. They have toured facilities and worked beside some of Canada’s leading innovative minds in building their own hands-on projects. Most importantly, they have come to know GE employees as role models who love to play and learn as much as they do. As a result, GE employees have played an important role in inspiring young people to believe in their own capabilities and imagine their own amazing career potential.

This type of employee engagement through mentorship is a stellar example of how corporations like GE can make a significant difference contributing directly to the development of a new generation of truly inspired innovators and entrepreneurs.  We believe this kind of innovative partnership is key to closing our labour market gaps in the future.

Actua would like to extend a big thank you to GE Canada and the volunteers from GE Motors in Peterborough for contributing to the success of this weekend’s Girl Power Science Day event.