Wowing Future STEM Experts at Google Geek Street

By CFC Staff July 30, 2014 13:00

In recent years, the level of student participation in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education in Canada has been low. The Canadian Council of Chief Executives indicated that in 2004 to 2007, only “10-13% of all newly granted university degrees were in science disciplines (life sciences, physical sciences, mathematics, statistics and computing) and 8-9% were in engineering-related fields (engineering and engineering trades, manufacturing and processing, architecture and building).” This is a problematic trend, as a recent article in Quartz argues that the study of STEM subjects teaches the widely applicable skills of creative problem solving, pattern recognition and abstract reasoning. This has linked STEM education to “success not only in STEM fields, but in many other disciplines and even among many of the world’s most wealthy and powerful people”.

To tackle this issue head-on, on Thursday, July 24, Google Canada hosted Google Geek Street in the Distillery Historic District, and transformed the space in to a fair full of scientific and technological wonders to promote the study of STEM subjects and their exciting discoveries to young children.

The CFC Media Lab was on-hand to showcase the following ideaBOOST alumni companies:

  • All Play, No Work gave children the opportunity for their image to be captured in Weirdwood Manor and offered a behind-the-scenes looks at the series
  • Apprentice A lead workshops on how to video blog and kids had the chance to try it out for themselves
  • Bubl Technology showcased the video and image capture abilities of the Bublcam when paired with Oculus Rift
  • Instaradio turned all of the little STEM experts into would-be future online broadcast stars

Other companies at Google Geek Street included:

  • ATS Automation and Aesthetec Studio ran robotic demonstrations with Lego trucks and ball hockey-playing robots
  • The Toronto Public Library and Sparks Maker both showcased the capabilities of 3D printers by printing a variety of items ranging from R2D2 to a replica of your scanned bust
  • Globacore exhibited a branded experience built for the Oculus Rift as a newspaper delivery person
  • Harrison Houde, host of Knowledge Network’s “Finding Stuff Out”, took to the stage to take questions from the audience

Google Geek Street was an eventful day for the CFC Media Lab and the thousands of children who attended. We are excited to see what innovations will come from these future STEM experts.

Photo Credit: Aida da Silva