In 2020 we all felt the seismic disruption that the pandemic brought to our lives and none more so than the teachers, school administrators, students and parents that had to make big changes to their daily routines. And they did so with creativity, grace and smarts. As 2021 started and we held out hope for a return to classrooms, the reality was that adapting and adjusting to new ways of learning and teaching were with us for the long-term. And yet, in spite of all this, if you are searching for hope and inspiration, look no further than a classroom of students giving it their all to learn a new skill.
As we’ve seen over the past two years, technology and the positive impact it can have on our lives to keep us connected and informed is incredibly important to society as a whole. Here at Google Canada, we are investing in the technology builders of tomorrow and bringing more STEM & computer science programs into classrooms across Canada. Our ongoing mission is to educate and engage students and teachers, particularly those with barriers to access STEM and Computer Science (CS), as a catalyst to empower the future of learning/work.
If there is a silver lining to the past two years, it is that the pandemic gave us the opportunity to adapt and scale our virtual offerings - providing better access and support for educators and students. And that has allowed us to make an even greater impact in the community. Despite a challenging and unpredictable year, we were thrilled with the tenacity and commitment we saw from educators across the country, as they persevered to learn and introduce STEM programming in their classrooms.
Some of the highlights of their (and our work) include:
- We reached 200,000+ participants in STEM outreach across the country.
- Together with The Council of Directors of Education in Ontario we launched a program aimed at training Grade 4 teachers on CS First. In 2021 we trained 4000 teachers across 50% of the school boards in Ontario and we aim to continue to work with interested boards in 2022 and beyond.
- We focused 100% of our targeted deep dive STEM program work on boards with high populations of historically underrepresented groups.
- Making the most of online event formats, we hosted our virtual Google Summit STEAMing Ahead 2021 and Google Canada’s CS Ed Week 2021 contributing to Hour of Code with close to 30,000 participants.
- Google engineer and author Komal Signh released her second book for young learners, Ara the Dream Innovator, to educators and students in Canada
And you will see more in 2022 - we will continue to drive forward educator/student offerings with a specific goal of reaching historically underrepresented populations in CS. We have a pilot project to expand our offerings to French-speaking students (more on that soon) and so much more. To the teachers, trainers and students we want to thank you for your unwavering commitment and support, none of this is possible without you!