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STEM Camp, making new economy skills accessible and fun for kids, coming to North Bay

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For six weeks in July, STEM camps will be in North Bay to help engage youth in four different areas. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The aim of CEO and Founder, Kevin Cougler, is to have a Canada where every young person has access to fun, high quality programming in those fields. He says their purpose and passion is to grow and inspire young inventors, discoverers and makers. The camps will be at Canadore College beginning on July 4th, running until August 11th. Each week will have a different theme. The first is Pokemon/Transformers, the second is going to be Star Wars, the third is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and the fourth is Plants vs. Zombies.

Executive Director Ron Cougler says they want to get kids between the ages of 5 to 13 looking at STEM activities. He says the goal of the camps is to give kids access to potential career paths in the future at a young age. Cougler also added they try to weave all four areas into every theme week to give kids a different experience each time. He says it’s not like school though, because the idea is to get kids out and have some hands on fun while also learning. He says the camp itself is a neat place for kids to find out about things they could do down the road doing some science or technology courses in university or college. Cougler says it’s important to open their eyes and show them unique opportunities that could lead to a career later on in their lives.

Cougler says the federal government, and Nipissing-Temiskaming MP Anthony Rota in particular, have been very instrumental in helping the camps grow and expand into Northern Ontario. The camps opened back in 2013, and have been gaining in popularity ever since. Reports have indicated that failing to engage youth in the STEM areas, especially for young women and minorities, is expected to lead to further shortfalls in the modern workforce. Minister of Science, Kirsty Duncan, recently made headlines when she expressed frustration over the fact there are less than favourable numbers of women entering STEM fields. Right now, only 20 per cent of those attending the camps are girls, and the Cougler’s are working to change that because they believe it’s important to get more involved for the future of the country. For more information, you can head to the STEM camp website: www.stemcamp.ca.

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