What do slime and lava lamps have in common with Suncor’s Sarnia refinery? They are all made possible with science!
Over the summer, five Suncor employees from the Sarnia refinery helped facilitate interactive activities at Maawn Doosh Gumig, Hillside Elementary School and the Walpole Arena in partnership with Actua’s InSTEM program. This program is geared towards connecting Indigenous youth with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
The Suncor employees joined youth from local First Nations including Aamjiwnaang, Kettle and Stony Point and Walpole Island to make slime and lava lamps and learn a little more about STEM along the way. The employees helped the campers learn about our process for waste water treatment and explain the role viscosity plays in the refinery. This hands-on knowledge helps peak youth interest in STEM by making connections to real-life applications.
“As someone studying to become a teacher, I know how meaningful it is for the campers to make connections between learning and real-life applications,” says Destiny Rogers-James, summer Aboriginal student, community relations, Suncor. “As an employee at the refinery, I also know how meaningful it is for our team members to be able to build these relationships in the community.”
For over a decade, the Suncor Energy Foundation (SEF) has supported Actua’s InSTEM program, which engages more than 35,000 Indigenous youth across the country each year with unique, innovative and culturally relevant STEM activities. As a result, youth are able to build skills, explore new ways of thinking, and consider opportunities for future development and career paths. Inspiring confidence in youth is an important element of the SEF strategy.
SEF’s partnership with Actua supports Suncor’s social goal by providing opportunities for Suncor employees and Indigenous youth to connect and learn from each other.
“Connections like these spark new ideas and learning for both the youth and Suncor team members, while making lasting connections with communities,” says Dani DeBoice, senior advisor, community investment, Suncor. “Youth truly are the future, and programs like InSTEM help enable youth to develop their full potential.”