The Science of Learning

Let’s Talk Science Set to Distribute 75,000 STEM learning kits to children to encourage technology-free learning.

While the world continues to adapt to online learning, an inequity gap continues to grow. Children with little to no access to technology or devices are left behind and fail to receive the same educational opportunities as their peers.

COVID-19 impacted students of every age when schools shut their doors in March. Children from vulnerable communities were faced with the challenge of completing school with limited access to the required technology that other students have readily at hand.

“We began to really worry about the kids that didn’t have access to computers and that didn’t have access to the internet, and that really began to spawn this idea of the Horizon Project,” said Bonnie Schmidt, CEO and Founder of Let’s Talk Science.

Let’s Talk Science, a national education and charitable outreach organization, quickly realized that there was a gap between students who had access to technology and those who didn’t.

The community-based organization created the Horizon Project to foster STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) learning by providing vulnerable youth in Grades Four to Six with free, hands-on learning activities that require no internet access.

“The project is about how do we support them at home, how do we support them in doing programming that we specialize in, and how to give them this gift of learning and exploration during a time when they might be not in a really good period of their life,” Schmidt said.

The Horizon Project wouldn’t be possible without $52,324 from the Emergency Community Support Fund distributed by Edmonton Community Foundation.

“With the disruption to normal education programs, and parents dipping their toes into the uncharted waters of home schooling, innovative programs like Let’s Talk Science were important,” Craig Stumpf-Allen, ECF’s Director of Grants and Community Engagement, says. “The really impressive aspect of their request though was the partnership with local food banks to disseminate materials to the families most likely to lack access to technology.”

Let’s Talk Science partnered with Food Banks Canada and 130 community partners to help distribute the 75,000 kits to vulnerable families. Each kit includes an engaging activity workbook, supplies for activities, an age-appropriate book and other surprises, including a contest to win more than 200 prizes

The Government of Canada’s $350-million Emergency Community Support Fund aims to help charities and non-profit organizations adapt and increase frontline services for vulnerable populations during COVID-19.

Together, the Canadian Red Cross, Community Foundations of Canada and United Way Centraide Canada are collaborating with the Government of Canada to flow ECSF support to those who need it most right now.

“The Edmonton Community Foundation stepped up and heard the story with such gusto that it was absolutely inspiring,” Schmidt said. “The faith that you put in us to build a program and a series of products that will serve the kids in the community was just wonderful.”

Learn more about the Emergency Community Support Fund.

The Emergency Community Support Fund
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