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Focus on Possibilities Annual Report 2009- 10

actua, connecting canadian youth to career opportunities

Message from the CEO

The economic agenda of every province and territory highlights the importance

of investing in Canada’s youth. Economic development and long-term prosperity hinge on our capacity to fuel innovation. Enhanced educational opportunities

for youth and the development of scientific and technical literacy are essential to making this happen.

Actua has a twenty-year track record of success connecting youth to careers in science, engineering and technology. We deliver programming that promotes creativity and collaboration, and builds critical thinking and problem solving

skills. We reach youth at a critical early age, before career decisions are made,

and we connect them to the many science, engineering and technology career opportunities that exist – often in their own communities.

For example, in 2009, we developed and delivered a customized camp that successfully promoted electricity industry careers to Aboriginal youth in

Thunder Bay, Ontario. In 2010, we will be delivering another set of customized

camps designed to promote health science and health science careers to Inuit youth in three communities in Nunavut. We are also promoting careers in the

rapidly growing mining industry through the inclusion of dynamic geosciences programming in all of our Northern camps.

We are also continuing to make giant steps toward breaking down barriers to youth engagement in science, engineering and technology. Through our

National Aboriginal Outreach Program, we are already reaching 10 percent of the Aboriginal youth population in our target age range. Our National Girls Program

has grown, too, with more and more members offering year-round girls’ clubs. We

are also making great strides in engaging other underserved or underrepresented youth in rural areas of the country. We have a strong presence in every province and territory, bringing our outreach programs to more than 450 communities nationwide.

We are very grateful for the generous support of our funders and the many

strong partnerships that have helped sustain us over the years. Together, through our shared interest in supporting youth, we are shaping Canada’s competencies

and contributing to the development of a skilled and diverse Canadian workforce.

Jennifer Flanagan President & CEO Actua Annual Report 2009-10


Through life-changing science, engineering,

and technology experiences, Actua inspires ALL youth to achieve their potential and fulfill their critical role in the world.

Each year we engage and inspire over 200,000 youth in over 450 communities nationwide!

Focus on Possibilities

In 2009, Actua supported its growing network of 30 member organizations,

located at universities and colleges across Canada, in the delivery of summer camps, classroom workshops, clubs and community outreach activities. We

further expanded our Outreach Team of instructors, enabling us to reach more youth in more communities not already served by our member organizations. We continued to enhance our programming by developing new curriculum,

growing our National Mentorship Program and exposing more youth to new and exciting innovations in science, engineering and technology. Finally, we

continued our customized programming designed to break down barriers to youth inclusion in science, engineering and technology fields. As a result, we

significantly grew our National Aboriginal Outreach Program, our National Girls Program, and our Go Where Kids Are Program.

In this way, by inspiring youth to imagine positive futures for themselves and encouraging them to actualize their potential, Actua built on its impressive

track record of preparing youth for change and making a valuable contribution to the development of a strong and diverse Canadian workforce.

“There are so many careers in science I didn’t know about. I never realized how much we still have to learn.” – Camper

Actua Annual Report 2009-10

actua’s national delivery model

Board of Directors

Actua National Office

30 Members at Universities and Colleges Local Staff (560) Volunteers (475)

Outreach Team

450 Communities nationwide 200,000 Youth Annually

Thank you! We congratulate all of our member organizations on their successes. We applaud our members’ host institutions for their commitment and leadership in engaging youth in life changing science, engineering and technology experiences.

National Success

In 2009, Actua’s national network of 30 members located at universities and colleges across Canada and its Outreach Team delivered customized camps,

workshops, girls clubs and community initiatives in every province and territory across Canada.

Camp Participants


Workshop Participants


Girls Club Participants


Community Outreach Participants Total Participants

35,205 200,877

National Accomplishments 2009-10 Over the past year, Actua: •

Supported 551 volunteers in donating 22,000 hours of time;

Reached youth in every province and territory across Canada; 455

Significantly grew its National Mentorship Program engaging over 450

communities from coast to coast to coast;

mentors inspiring over 25,000 youth through personal interactions with young professionals;

Developed and delivered climate change adaptation workshops and camps

Delivered a customized camp that successfully promoted electricity

Sustained its goal of reaching 10% of the Aboriginal youth population in

Significantly increased programming in rural and remote areas of

in partnership with the Nunavut Department of Environment; industry careers to Aboriginal youth in Thunder Bay; the target age range of 9-14 years; and

Quebec with workshops and camps taking place in 12 rural First Nations communities.

Actua Annual Report 2009-10

breaking barriers to youth participation in science, engineering and technology f ields Diverse perspectives are critical in order to achieve the full advancement potential in science, engineering and technology. Actua is working hard to make sure we achieve this diversity. By making our programming relevant to a wider range of youth audiences and working proactively with community-based organizations, we have become a national leader in engaging and inspiring Aboriginal youth, girls, disadvantaged or at-risk youth, and youth who are geographically isolated.

“The activities showed me how much I really like science and now I want to go to university. What kinds of science things can I study at university?” – Camper

National Aboriginal Outreach Program

Actua works in partnership with First Nations organizations, Native Friendship Centres, Hamlets, Elders and Aboriginal scientists to provide dynamic programming that is relevant to local context and local culture.

Actua’s community-based approach exposes youth to Aboriginal and other young and energetic role models in science fields, and demonstrates how

traditional knowledge can play a significant role in the study of science. This approach is helping Actua address the critical need to engage Aboriginal

Canadians in the fields of science and technology. It also contributes to the

future prosperity within Aboriginal communities and the creation of a diverse and strong Canadian workforce.

National Girls Program

Actua brings girls together in fun, confidence-building, all-girl

environments to explore innovations and opportunities in science and technology. Girls are inspired by young women scientists and engineers who volunteer as mentors and share their experiences and personal stories. In this way, girls across the country are

discovering their potential and imagining themselves in exciting science, engineering and technology careers.

Go Where Kids Are Program

When youth can not come to us, despite the availability of bursaries, we find innovative ways to take our programming to them. Our Go Where Kids Are Program involves developing partnerships with organizations that service

disadvantaged or at-risk youth, and delivering programs on site – where kids are.

National Bursary Program

By partnering with youth-serving organizations such as the Boys and Girls

Clubs of Canada, women’s shelters, Big Brothers and Sisters Canada and family resource centres, Actua members provide more than 1,000 summer camp bursaries for youth in need.

Actua Annual Report 2009-10

actua outreach In addition to Actua’s network of 30 membership organizations that deliver programming in communities coast to coast to coast, Actua’s outreach team reaches youth in communities not served by our members. This gives us the capacity to reach youth anywhere. Our Outreach Team also develops and pilots new curriculum aimed at exposing youth to specific career opportunities. In 2009 Actua’s Outreach Team delivered 170 workshops and 34 camps reaching 4,532 youth in 49 communities throughout northern British Columbia and Alberta, Northwest Territories, northern Ontario, Nunavut, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador. “Having Actua at our school has opened a door for our students by showing them that science can be fun, exciting, real, and local. They were able to see that science is not just something that is found in a textbook but that it exists here in our community. To this day, the students are constantly telling their teacher that they wish they had science camp again because it was so much fun!” – Stephen Penney, Science Department Head, Inuglak School, Whale Cove NU

Connecting Youth to Local Economic Development Opportunities

We design our programs to reflect and address current global challenges and innovations in science, engineering and technology, and to

connect youth to local economic development opportunities.

When young people discover how science, engineering and technology shape the

world around them; and when they develop a curiosity about science and technology, through dynamic hands-on learning

experiences; they gain confidence in their

abilities. This fosters an environment in which they learn to think critically and creatively.

By connecting youth to career opportunities

in growing business areas such as renewable energy, life sciences, geosciences, mineral

exploration and mining, engineering, and

technology, we help to build a diversified and skilled workforce.

Actua Annual Report 2009-10

“After doing the circuit activities, I decided I definitely want to be an electrical engineer when I grow up.� – Camper, Aamjiwnaang First Nation, ON

partnerships In 2009 Actua hosted an event in Iqaluit that promoted Actua’s partnership with the Synapse - CIHR Youth Connection Program. Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Canada’s Minister of Health was present and participated in an Actua-led DNA extraction activity with the youth.

“Canada’s future lies in a knowledge-based economy. Young people in all parts of Canada are expanding both their imaginations and their job horizons by learning science.” - Hon. Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health

National Mentorship Program

Since 2003, Actua’s National Mentorship Program has grown to become a key component of our programs. Each year, thousands of youth are inspired by

dynamic, energetic professionals who share their stories about their careers and personal lives.

Actua mentorship events often provide youth with their first opportunity to meet “real-life� scientists and engineers. Our National Mentorship Program connects youth to inspiring adults who share their personal stories while leading activities or making presentations in related disciplines. These

personal interactions demystify science fields and dispel commonly associated stereotypes. This is especially significant for girls as our National Mentorship Program plays a crutial role in enhancing our National Girls Program. We

continue to expand the impact of both programs by engaging more mentors in a greater number of events so that more youth can begin to imagine exciting futures for themselves.

In 2009, 450 mentors engaged over 25,000 youth in over 800 exciting mentor events.

Actua Annual Report 2009-10

Impact and Accountability

Actua’s effectiveness in creating positive and significant change in the

attitudes and behaviours of young Canadians towards science, engineering

and technology fields has been verified by a three-year independent research initiative by Dr. Gail Crombie of the University of Ottawa. Dr. Crombie

conducted pre- and post-camp surveys of thousands of youth participants of Actua camps. She found that as a result of their Actua experience:

• 83% felt that they were more confident of their ability to do technology and science;

• 84% stated that their enjoyment of technology and science had increased;

• 81% stated that their knowledge of engineering had increased; • 84% felt that they would do better in technology and science at school; • 75% stated that they were more likely to take optional science in high school; and,

• 74% stated that they were more likely to study science in university. Two other independent evaluations of our “We have found Actua to be a credible, professional organization with a history of success in delivering relevant science outreach program to youth across Canada. Actua has done an excellent job demonstrating return on investment by evaluating and measuring the impact of their programs in communities.”

– Cathy Glover Director, Stakeholder Relations and Community Investment, Suncor Energy Foundation

programs have reinforced these results. First, a Canadian Women’s Foundation assessment of our members’ girls’

clubs found that the majority of club participants were considering taking

science in high school and pursuing a

career in science or technology. A second evaluation conducted by the Centre for

Community-based Research found that

75% of our Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada participants reported they were likely to continue pursuing their interest in the digital arts or science.

We continue to monitor our program outcomes each year through participant surveys, interviews with community contacts, and feedback collected from teachers and parents.

Actua Annual Report 2009-10

Member Highlights

The Actua & GE Canada Award for

Leadership and Innovation was created

to recognize member organizations that

have best exemplified the Actua spirit of innovation over the past year.

The 2009 winner of the award is Science Venture, located at the University of Victoria.

Selected by a panel of judges from GE

Canada, the Science Venture team had a

stellar year pushing for the highest levels of excellence in curriculum, outreach

initiatives and community partnerships.

“GE Canada’s partnership with Actua supports Canada’s increasing need for more science and technology skills. By engaging youth in fun and interactive programs, Actua is building the science literacy of a future generation of innovators. This is a great investment in our future.” - Elyse Allan, President & CEO, GE Canada

Science Venture partnered with seven Aboriginal communities, nine departments within the Faculties of Science and Engineering at the University of Victoria, the Office of Indigenous Affairs, and two industry partners to collaboratively engage over 400 Aboriginal youth in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. This resulted in over 2,400 hours of engagement!

Actua Annual Report 2009-10

leadership and accountability Suzanne Corbeil, Chair Director, Global Outreach, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Waterloo, ON

Jennifer Flanagan, President and Secretary CEO, Actua, Ottawa, ON Todd Hamilton, Treasurer Senior Manager, Private Company Services, Deloitte & Touche LLP Kim Warburton, Director Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs, GE Canada, Mississauga, ON Karen Chow, Director Vice President, The GlaxoSmithKline Foundation, Mississauga, ON Sandrine Michard, Director Vice President, Corporate Communications, L’Oréal, Montréal, QC Susan Holt, Director CEO, Fredericton Chamber of Commerce, Fredericton, NB Kurt Touet, Director Director of Outreach and Transition Programs, College of Engineering, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK

“I am inspired by Actua’s mission to provide life-changing experiences to young Canadians from all walks of life and have a sincere respect for Actua’s dynamic and high performing team that shares a passion for youth, education and science. I am working with a very competent, highly skilled Board of Directors that strives for excellence in governance and it is rewarding to know that Actua is making a big difference in the lives of the youth we reach!” - Suzanne Corbeil, Chair

Financial Summary 2009 Revenues 50 % Corporate


35 % Government

10% 50% 35%

10 % Foundation 5 % Other

2009 Expenses 60 % Local Program Delivery


30 % Member Services Support 30%


10 % Program Development and Administration

Actua focuses the majority of its resources on the local delivery of programs

and the delivery of critical services and support to its network of 30 member

organizations located at universities and colleges across Canada. In 2009, Actua had an operating budget of $1.5 million.

Each year we engage new funding partners who join us in our commitment

to build a strong and diverse Canadian workforce. They support our programs that expose youth to exciting career opportunities and prepare them for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Actua Annual Report 2009-10

inspiring young minds “I think that providing hands-on science activities and mentoring young students are important ways to improve scientific literacy. Working with the Science AL!VE Girls’ Club is also extremely rewarding for me; their enthusiasm for science is refreshing and inspiring.” – Heather McFarlane, PhD candidate in the Department of Botany at the University of British Columbia, and L’Oréal for Women in Science Mentor Fellowship Award recipient

“My favourite part of the whole experience was seeing how excited the students were to be extracting DNA and doing hands on science. I really think that for some of them, a career in health research started to seem appealing. This wonderful opportunity would not have been available to me, nor the students if it was not for the Actua staff.” – Lisa Turchet, PhD candidate in ovarian cancer research at The University of Ottawa

Actua Supporters Cornerstone


Major Patron


Contributor Maurice Price Foundation Celestica

Canada Foundation for Innovation

Denotes at least 10 years of support

Actua Annual Report 2009-10


CropLife Canada

Charitable Number 14057 3320 RR0001

Actua Member Organizations 2009/2010 British Columbia

EUReKA! Science Program GEERing Up! Science AL!VE Science Venture


Yukon Innovators


Discover E Minds in Motion Science Promotion at RDC


EYES SCI-FI Science Camps Health and Science Camp


Kid-Netic Energy


Simply Science

Thompson Rivers University University of British Columbia Simon Fraser University University of Victoria

Kamloops Vancouver Burnaby Victoria

Yukon College


University of Alberta University of Calgary Red Deer College

Edmonton Calgary Red Deer

University of Regina University of Saskatchewan First Nations University of Canada

Regina Saskatoon Regina

University of Manitoba


Nunavut Research Institute


University of Ottawa University of Guelph University of Western Ontario University of Waterloo Queen’s University York University University of Toronto Queen’s University Lakehead University McMaster University Carleton University

Ottawa Guelph London Waterloo Kingston Toronto Toronto Kingston Thunder Bay Hamilton Ottawa

École Polytechnique de Montréal Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières Centre d’interprétation des Biosciences

Montréal Trois-Rivières Laval

University of New Brunswick


Dalhousie University St. Francis Xavier University

Halifax Antigonish


Adventures in Engineering and Science Creative Encounters Discovery Western ESQ Science Discovery Science Explorations Science Outreach Science Quest Superior Science Venture Engineering and Science Virtual Ventures


Folie Technique Génitrucs Musée Armand Frappier

New Brunswick

Worlds UNBound

Nova Scotia SuperNOVA

X-Chem Outreach Program

Thank you to all the universities and colleges across Canada that host our member organizations!


15 York Street (Courtyard) Ottawa ON K1N 5S7 | | Tel 613 234 4137 | Fax 613 234 4779

Actua Annual Report 2009-2010  
Actua Annual Report 2009-2010  

Annual report