Effective July 11, 2021, Saskatchewan entered Step Three of the Re-Opening Roadmap and the public health order relative to COVID-19 was lifted. All restrictions related to the public health order were removed as of that date.
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In 2018, Innovation Saskatchewan began a pilot project aimed at introducing First Nations students to robotics, computer coding and digital literacy. With the participation of 85 students from Cowessess and Kahkewistahaw First Nation schools, the program fostered creative problem-solving and critical thinking skills, and sparked students' interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields as viable career choices. Prior to the start of the program, 52 per cent of students were interested in technology and a STEM career. Post-implementation, that figure increased to 70 per cent of students.
The motivation behind the creation of RoboX was a need to address the underrepresentation of Indigenous people in the technology sector, as well as a shortage of skilled tech labour in the province. The program was delivered over five months to students in grades 5 to 9, and featured robotics kits that allowed students to learn about computer programming and technology through hands-on experience. The program finished with a series of games and competitions, and participants in both schools received certificates.
In 2019, Innovation Saskatchewan began working with SaskCode and the Saskatchewan Science Centre on a second pilot of the program for northern communities, of which 87 per cent of the population is Indigenous. This version began in March with a three-day training event for teachers. In total:
Through these training sessions, Innovation Saskatchewan is helping to incorporate coding and robotics into the education curriculum. It is currently working on a RoboX northern tour, and has begun discussions to implement the program on a wider basis.
For more information, visit www.innovationsask.ca.
Source: Innovation Saskatchewan
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