For more than 31 years, Scientists in School has been dedicated to inspiring millions of children across Canada through hands-on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education experiences, with this year proudly reaching our 10 millionth student scientist.
Scientists in School’s “Stand Up For Future Scientists” campaign has a goal of raising $100,000 in funds to offset the $1.2 million in lost operating revenues due to the extended school and community closures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 300,000 children are missing out on the formative childhood STEM education enrichment experiences that our charity typically provides in the spring and summer months. In a normal school year, we reach over 700,000 elementary students at a cost of only $8.50 per student.
Our social enterprise structure means that 80% of revenue is normally funded through a subsidized half-day workshop fee, and the other 20% through fundraising and government grants. School and community closures mean that we are not receiving this critical revenue to keep our organization strong and stable.
The importance of a scientifically-literate world has become increasingly apparent. Our society is becoming more and more dependent on science and technology every single day, yet the vast majority of children do not have enough opportunities to see science as engaging, fun, and accessible. Our charity ensures that children in Canada have opportunities to understand the importance and relevance of science in everyday life, to build confidence in their STEM skills, and to open their eyes to the possibilities of becoming our world’s next leaders in science and innovation.
Every year, we help inspire over 700,000 children to become the next frontline health workers, researchers, technologists and scientists – just a few of the STEM workers that are essential in critical times like what we are facing today – and equip them with the confidence and 21st century skills urgently needed in the workforce of today and tomorrow. They are the future – and we must do everything we can to provide them with the tools necessary to combat future crises and raise a more scientifically literate society. The actions that we take today will determine what tomorrow looks like, in more ways than we can possibly imagine.
How Your Donation Helps
With our classroom and community workshops cancelled for the foreseeable future, and some funders now not in a position to be able to provide anticipated support, we have experienced a loss of over 55% of our annual operating revenue for this year.
The funds raised through this campaign will be split 50/50 between helping our organization rebound from the impact of COVID-19, and providing complimentary classroom workshops to schools serving impoverished areas (when schools reopen). Addressing access barriers to our program for less-affluent students has become even more important as the current crisis has affected students in already vulnerable situations the most. This includes communities with a high proportion of new immigrants where language is a barrier to home schooling, and those where parents are balancing home learning with front-line jobs. We have an important opportunity to support positive change.
In these extremely trying times, we recognize that everyone is facing hardships. We truly appreciate any and all support you are able to provide to Scientists in School during this incredibly difficult time. Thank you for joining us in standing up for the next generation of scientists and innovators.
(Photo Credits: MaryAnn Griffin, Kathy Moore, and Sara Pournader)