Today, Digital Nova Scotia and the Discovery Centre announced the launch of a pilot program to increase exposure of the ICT and digital technologies sector to educators, with the help of $180,000 USD committed by Salesforce.org. This is the first time Salesforce.org have invested in a Nova Scotia initiative.
The two organizations have come together to maximize strengths, Digital Nova Scotia with its deep connections within the ICT and digital technologies sector, and the Discovery Centre with its unmatched experience in STEAM education. The project is an innovative, scalable and holistic solution that will bring together provincial and regional education leaders, and representatives from the ICT and digital technologies industry to inspire and educate teachers of the lucrative and long-lasting career paths available to their students. The total number of teachers engaged in the pilot project will represent 26.7% of high school teachers within the Halifax and Annapolis Valley Regions.
“Excitement is infectious. By exciting educators, we can excite and inspire students. But not only that, we can actually have teachers bring that excitement to their own peers, and increase the collective effort! By focusing on educator outreach, this project has the potential for deep and sustainable impact. One teacher can impact hundreds of students per school year, so why not turn our teachers into champions of tech and prepare our future workforce for the millions of opportunities that await them,” says Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia, former President & CEO of Digital Nova Scotia. “Technology is a powerful equalizer, and by leveraging the opportunities technology provides, we can show youth and their parents that there are sustainable, life-changing careers right here in Nova Scotia.”
The project will establish a cohort of 70 educators to become leaders and advocates for the ICT sector and its career opportunities, increase accessibility of speakers and further education for 200 teachers, and create resources highlighting Nova Scotia success stories and career opportunities for youth.
“We’re extremely grateful for the support of Salesforce.org and their commitment to investing in the future workforce of Nova Scotia through our educators,” says Dov Bercovici, President & CEO of the Discovery Centre. “For many years, the Discovery Centre and Digital Nova Scotia have partnered on our joint Digital Discovery Camp, and we are thrilled to see this strategic partnership expand to provide such relevant and creative programming.”
With champions from within the education system, we plan to see an increase in high school youth exploring further education and/or opportunities in the ICT sector, from ICT to Fintech, cybersecurity AI and animation.
“At Salesforce.org, we’re focused on preparing the next generation with the skills they need for the jobs of the future,” said Ebony Frelix, EVP and Chief Philanthropy Officer, Salesforce.org. “We are proud to partner with Digital Nova Scotia and the Discovery Centre to increase the exposure of technology careers to ensure all students have the opportunity to succeed.”
Salesforce and Salesforce.org have always had a strong commitment to education and equality. Since they began in 1999, they have given over $65 million and 175,000 volunteer hours to K-12 schools, with a focus on STEM and computer science education.
“I am pleased to partner with organizations that are helping students learn in the 21st century. The Opening Doors project, which we are an active contributor, will provide teachers with the tools and resources in implementing ICT within their curriculum and an understanding of long-lasting career paths for students within the sector.”
-Minister Zach Churchill, Education & Early Childhood Development
“This is a rich professional learning opportunity that will equip and empower our high school teachers to provide relevant, career-focused guidance to our students. When teachers have a real-world understanding of the possibilities available in the ICT world, the positive impact on students and their futures is tremendous.”
– Jill Chaulk, Facilitator, Curriculum Implementation with the Halifax Regional Centre for Education
“Innovation and entrepreneurship are vital components in growing Nova Scotia’s economy. This is particularly true in rural areas like those represented in the Annapolis Valley Centre for Education. The Open Doors initiative provides an excellent opportunity for our educators to gain experience and insight into ICT opportunities available to our students in Nova Scotia. Thereby better preparing our next generation to be able to compete in a global economy while living in Nova Scotia.”
– Mark Richards, Consultant of Educational Technology and Student Data, Annapolis Valley Regional Centre for Education