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Since the first lockdown in early 2020, the Youth BIOlab team has made extraordinary efforts to expand its reach and connect with students from all walks of life, all across the province, in particular kids who live in our remote northern communities.  

From live-streaming course work and project sessions, to producing original science-based activity books as well as writing and producing two original video series on its website and YouTube, in both official languages, our YBL team has been working non-stop, and now that students are starting to return to our building for in-person learning, they will once again be busier than ever. 

On May 17, Director Steve Jones hosted a group of local and visiting school division CEO’s, superintendents and education leaders from across the country who were attending C21 Canada, a leadership summit to continue the national conversation on Reconciliation in Canadian Education in Treaty One, Homeland of the Red River Metis. Showcasing landmark ventures with first-hand site visits to future-ready partner innovations was a key aim of the summit, showing nuanced pathways to reconciliation.

“We have partnered with the Louis Riel School Division since 2005, and this work directly led to the development of the Youth BIOlab,” explained Jones. This partnership model and guiding principles still form the basis of all its work with students, teachers and other school divisions. “By working together, we can meet the unique needs of learners, communities and schools, whether here on Treaty One land or elsewhere in the province,” he added.

Joining Christian Michalik, Superintendent of the Louis Riel School Division and Summit Co-Host, and Karen Yamada, Learning and Innovation Lead for C21 Canada, guests sat down with Jones in the Youth BIOlab to learn more about its programming and outreach efforts to youth from all corners of Manitoba.

Then on May 19, more good news for YBL, when the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry announced over $10 million in funding through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s (NSERC) PromoScience and Science Communication Skills grants, as well as the NSERC Awards for Science Promotion.  YBL will receive $93,000 for 2022, which Steve will continue to invest in youth outreach programming with new and existing partners.   

Way to go team YBL!