ST. JOHN’S, NL
– Nearly 500 students from kindergarten to Grade 12 (K-12) attending summer camps in the St. John’s region will have the opportunity to put their minds to the test in a fun and interactive way.
Beginning Tuesday, July 10, Brilliant Labs, in partnership with the federal government’s CanCode and Summer Jobs programs, launched a series of camps for youth to learn coding and digital skills development. College of the North Atlantic (CNA) Prince Philip Drive campus is one of several partners that will host these youth and provide a venue for “campers” to learn code and manipulate devices in a fun learning environment. The kickoff was held at the campus's Learning Commons.
Brilliant Labs was created in 2014 by a community of entrepreneurs, non-profit agencies, municipalities and economic development agencies with initial support from the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). Since then, the organization began operations in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) in April of this year, and as part of the overall Atlantic Canada movement, it aims to foster creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit through coding and technology for youth.
John Barron, Brilliant Labs NL provincial program co-ordinator, said programs, such as CanCode and its $50 million investment over two years, are vital in today’s technological environment to expose youth (including traditionally underrepresented groups) to learn skills and study incentives so they can be prepared for present-day and future jobs.
CanCode also supports initiatives that provide K-12 teachers with the training and professional development they need to introduce digital skills, coding and related concepts into the classroom. Barron says this objective aligns with the mandate of Brilliant Labs, and enables teachers to engage youth to make an impact in their communities through project-based learning; inspiring and building activities; engaging the ICT (information and communication technology) sector; and, accelerating educational change.
“Brilliant Labs appreciates that not every student will grow up to be a software developer or an engineer. It also knows, however, that the analytical, creative, critical thinking and problem-solving skills that the meaningful use of technology fosters will serve young people well in whichever career path they take,” said Barron.
Dr. Bill Radford, CNA President & CEO, said the college also supports opportunities for youth to learn diverse skills when it comes to the digital economy, and further develop them once they are ready to enter their post-secondary careers.
“We are delighted to partner with Brilliant Labs and share our technological resources so that these young minds can cultivate the know-how when it comes to technology they are using on a daily basis. The college is continuously advancing its resources to ensure they are in lockstep with what is happening in industry and labour market trends. We are also achieving this through our students, as today’s youth are our future, and we have a responsibility to prepare them for the demands and skills that will be expected of them. CNA welcomes this opportunity.”
Camps will also be held as part of the summer program in Mount Pearl, with Rabbitown Community Centre, Buckmaster Circle Community Centre, Gander Public Library and Memorial’s Grenfell Campus in Corner Brook.
For more information about Brilliant Labs, visit: www.brilliantlabs.ca<http://www.brilliantlabs.ca
For more information about CanCode, visit: https://bit.ly/2rQ4viJ
For more information about CNA, visit: www.cna.nl.ca<http://www.cna.nl.ca
NL Provincial Program Co-ordinator