Actua is a leading Canadian organization unlocking the infinite potential of youth through STEM.

Together with a national network of universities and colleges, Actua engages youth from all corners of the country in transformational STEM learning experiences that build critical employability skills and confidence.

We do this while working relentlessly to remove barriers to youth engagement by addressing inequities on the ground and at a systems level. The result? We’re widening pathways to STEM education and careers and ensuring the skills and confidence of youth are built today – barrier free – in preparation for tomorrow.

Our Story

STEM has the power to solve the world’s biggest challenges. It is also the driving force behind Canada’s innovation economy. Yet, for many youth, barriers to STEM education and careers still exist.

Breaking down barriers requires bold and unapologetic action. This is where Actua finds its purpose.

Actua was launched in the mid-90s by a passionate group of university students on a mission to inspire more youth with STEM. They knew too many young people were being left behind in STEM learning and education. But, as they began to engage more youth in STEM, they realized engagement alone was not enough. They needed to break down the systemic inequalities creating barriers to youth engagement in the first place. They recognized that doing this work would require collective action among all stakeholders in the innovation economy. So Actua began mobilizing educators, post-secondary institutions, corporations and policymakers around the belief that our future will only be as successful as the diverse perspectives that shape it.

Fast-forward to the present, Actua has become Canada’s largest STEM outreach organization. We represent a national network of 43 universities and colleges that engage youth, ages 6-26, in STEM learning experiences that are anything but ordinary. That’s because together, we believe in being the change we want to inspire. We don’t assume we know what our audiences want – we ask them. We don’t wait for change to arrive – we roll up our sleeves and make it happen. We don’t settle for “good enough” – we set lofty goals and “actua”lize them. And, above all else, we remain relentless in our pursuit to dismantle systemic inequalities so all youth can benefit from and participate in STEM.

As we reflect back on our humble roots and embrace our position as a national voice for STEM education and outreach, we remain firm in one thing:

Change requires ongoing action.
And, we’ve got the determination, know-how and community to make this change happen!

Values

  • Curiosity → We are passionate about learning and remain forever curious as we seek to innovate, challenge the status quo and exceed expectations.
  • Equity → We recognize that advantages and barriers exist, and prioritize equity throughout everything we do to restore balance in the innovation ecosystem.
  • Community → We respect the knowledge and experiences of the communities we serve, and leverage these strengths to achieve collective impact.
  • Confidence → We are hyper focused on building the confidence of youth and peers, by connecting them with role models and STEM programming that is both safe and inclusive.
  • Authenticity → We know that being genuine, communicating openly, and empowering others to be themselves is the pathway to exceptional performance, ongoing trust and unwavering loyalty.
  • Credibility → We inspire belief in our programming and initiatives by showcasing our impact, sharing our knowledge and resources and maintaining transparency.

Actua is grateful for the Indigenous nations who have always cared for the land. We are committed to ensuring our teams are culturally diverse and that they reside in many Indigenous territories around the country. In recognition that we are all Treaty People, we are committed to our role and responsibility towards Truth and Reconciliation and to dismantling oppressive systems that continue to oppress diverse communities.

Land Acknowledgement