Today Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met virtually with the RBC Youth BIOlab Jeunesse team here at St. Boniface Hospital Research to learn more about the program’s health literacy outreach efforts to Manitoba students in Grs. 5 – 12.
Steve Jones, Youth BIOlab’s Director, led our Prime Minister through a virtual tour of the facility, which normally sees 4,500+ kids visit each school year to supplement their science education, at one of North America’s most unique biomedical teaching facilities with access to real working scientists.
“It was fantastic to have the Prime Minister express interest in our efforts and show him our facility and how we have been engaging kids’ with the mechanics of science and how it relates to our health,” Jones explained.
In welcoming the Prime Minister to St. Boniface, President & CEO Martine Bouchard expressed the hospital and research centre’s gratitude for his visit today. “We’re undoubtedly proud of the Youth BIOlab and its impact on Manitoba students, especially its connection to the Metis and Indigenous communities as an essential partner to inspire young people towards careers in science and medicine.”
Trudeau learned that since late summer, the YBL team has been working virtually in response to pandemic restrictions, after building a new website and developing a series of videos for its YouTube channel called “Healthy Curiosity”. It also hosts online weekly “Meet a Scientist” sessions with resident researchers at St. Boniface who study conditions affecting the heart, brain and digestive systems.
“The PM was super interested in what the kids actually do when they are here in the lab, and how we’ve pivoted to deliver meaningful content virtually through our website and You Tube channel,” Jones said. “His obvious love for teaching and interest in a science-based approach to health literacy really came through, especially because COVID has really shown us that there’s a need for people to understand the science behind disease.”
Dan Vandal, MP for St. Boniface – St. Vital has been a long-standing supporter of St. Boniface Hospital Research and the Youth BIOlab in particular, and was pivotal in making this visit from our Prime Minister a reality!
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