New Kindergarten-Grade 12 programming aims to inspire the next-generation workforce, as National Shipbuilding Strategy powers sustainable, competitive marine industry in Canada.
NORTH VANCOUVER, BC, Dec. 8, 2020 /CNW/ – Today, Seaspan Shipyards announced a $300,000 investment in Let’s Talk Science, an award-winning national charitable organization that has been providing Canadian youth and educators with engaging science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs for more than 25 years. Seaspan’s three-year commitment will support the roll-out of new Kindergarten–Grade 12 (K-12) programming across Canada designed to educate and inspire youth about STEM careers in the marine and shipbuilding industries.
Seaspan’s contribution to Let’s Talk Science will be used to develop digital resources, conduct outreach for students, and deliver professional development and career enrichment resources for educators. Starting in April 2021, English and French students will have opportunities to explore future STEM careers – both trades and professional – in Canada’s renewed and thriving shipbuilding and ship repair ecosystem.
2020 has focused attention on the importance of scientific literacy and the role of STEM skills in a rapidly changing world. Let’s Talk Science’s approach to STEM engagement builds those attributes and develops critical thinking, problem-solving, evidence-based decision-making skills, and much more.
Career opportunities in today’s marine industry are more diverse and dynamic than ever. As marine businesses, including modern shipyards like Seaspan, continue to leverage new and emerging technologies in every aspect of their operations, the demand for both traditional and advanced STEM competencies will become more critical. The large non-combat vessels being built by Seaspan for the Canadian Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy require scientists, engineers, mathematicians, naval architects and physicists through to experts in ship construction, including robotics, artificial intelligence, welding and icebreaking steel technologies. These high-tech ships and floating research laboratories will help Canada achieve some of its most important objectives, including climate change research, ocean and marine science, and national security.
The investment in Let’s Talk Science is part of Seaspan’s commitment under the National Shipbuilding Strategy to enhance education and skills development in the marine and shipbuilding industries in Canada.
In place of an in-person announcement, the company also released today a video with special messages from several stakeholders and representatives of Seaspan’s current workforce.
“Seaspan Shipyards and Let’s Talk Science are working together to ensure a sustainable future for Canada’s marine industry. By giving students the opportunity to learn about Canada’s marine industry, Seaspan is investing in the future of this innovation-driven field. This is exactly the kind of value-adding initiative we imagined when we created the National Shipbuilding Strategy.”
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
“Thanks to Seaspan’s multi-year investment, we can do even more to engage youth and educators in learning about the diversity of careers that are available with STEM skills and knowledge. And we can do more to showcase the importance of STEM in skilled trades.”
– Dr. Bonnie Schmidt, President and Founder of Let’s Talk Science
“For Canada’s shipbuilders and marine businesses to seize opportunities in a global, innovation-driven economy, both traditional and applied STEM competencies will become increasingly critical. Seaspan’s contribution to Let’s Talk Science will also focus on promoting STEM education needed in the skilled trades. We hope this investment will spark curiosity in young people to explore and consider the wide variety of rewarding STEM-related career paths in shipbuilding.”
– Dave Hargreaves, Vice President Strategy and Business Development, Seaspan Shipyards
- The National Shipbuilding Strategy objectives are to develop a sustainable, competitive marine industry and to renew the federal fleet with ships built in Canada by Canadians.
- Seaspan has become a major economic and job creation engine for BC while contributing more than $1.5 billion dollars to Canada’s GDP and directing more than $1B in NSS-related contracts to more than 670 suppliers from coast to coast. (Source: Deloitte Socioeconomic Impact Study, February 2020).
- Seaspan has become one of the most modern shipyards in North America, following its $185M shipyard modernization, development of a skilled workforce of 2,700 and state-of-the-art, purpose-built infrastructure to deliver the entire non-combat fleet, including the Polar Icebreaker.
- Seaspan delivered the first full class of vessels under the NSS, with the delivery of the third Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel, CCGS John Cabot, on October 9. Work on the first Joint Support Ship for the Royal Canadian Navy – which will be the largest naval vessel, by length, ever to be built in Canada – is well advanced.
- To date, Seaspan has invested over $22M to support education, learning, research and skills development to the benefit of its current and future employees and of the broader Canadian marine industry. Seaspan has also focussed on reducing barriers for underrepresented groups, bringing a broad range of new talent into the industry and into the trades, including more women and indigenous people, and creating opportunities for youth through internships and apprenticeships.
- Since 1993, Let’s Talk Science has inspired over 9.5 million Canadian youth and educators.
- Last year, Let’s Talk Science programming was used in over 4,000 schools and in more than 1,200 communities in every province and territory.
- Canada needs more STEM students: 70% of top jobs in Canada require STEM education, but fewer than 50% of students complete senior high school STEM courses. Five out of six students aren’t eligible to apply for engineering. Only 17% of Canadian students complete Grade 12 physics (Source: Let’s Talk Science)