News / Ottawa

Actua's Maker Mobile embarks on cross-country code trip

The future is in good hands because kids are natural creatives, coders and innovators.

Actua educator Kevin Semple demonstrates 3D printing at a launch event on Parliament Hill. Semple will be one of the people driving the Maker Mobile van across the country.

Haley Ritchie / Metro Order this photo

Actua educator Kevin Semple demonstrates 3D printing at a launch event on Parliament Hill. Semple will be one of the people driving the Maker Mobile van across the country.

Science is about to hit the road as learning non-profit Actua begins a cross-Canada road trip to share technology with students from the back of a van.

“We wanted to do something really special for Canada’s 150,” said Jennifer Flanagan, president of the organization, which aims to get youth excited about science and technology.

“We also wanted to get kids across the country really, really excited about innovation and understanding what it is and making that accessible. We landed on the idea of a cross-country tour,” she said.

Flanagan defines innovation not as a buzzword, but as “doing the right things better.” The van will be spreading that message as it visits 80 cities and towns across the country, including the far north.

Flanagan added that the future is in good hands – in her experience, kids are natural creatives, coders and innovators.

“They have a million ideas for how to change the world,” she said. “We have the most incredible innovators that we will ever see, but we need to help them along and support them more than we’re doing right now. We need to give them experiential education opportunities where they can apply the skills they’re learning in school.”

The cube van is mobile and packed with tech goodies like 3D printers, laser cutters and programmable circuit boards. Earlier this year the University of Ottawa launched it's own Maker Mobile that travels across Ottawa.

Flanagan said the programming is meant to complement classroom learning but will give students across the country access to new tools and technology to apply their learning.

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