4-H Canada announced the continuation of a long-standing national partnership with founding Science & Technology Leadership Development Pillar partner Bayer Crop Science Canada, via a five-year, $500,000 contribution agreement focused on engaging more 4-H youth in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs, and growing the pipeline of tomorrow’s innovators.
For five years now, 4-H Canada and Bayer have worked closely together to attract and cultivate the most innovative young minds, by providing STEM opportunities to all 4-H members across Canada – including in rural communities where opportunities are often scarce. Education remains the key focus area: through 4-H Canada’s Science & Technology programs, youth dive into hands-on, inquiry-based activities that engage them in science, and support them on their educational and professional pursuits.
“Our partnership with Bayer is critical to building capacity around STEM for 4-H youth across Canada,” said Shannon Benner, 4-H Canada CEO. “With their unfailing support, we will continue to provide access and maintain interest in STEM in rural communities through our science programs, and to empower youth to be responsible, caring and contributing leaders that affect positive change in the world around them.”
4-H members are catalysts for change, and they drive innovation in science and technology. These young scientists are not only vital in solving sustainable growing and environmental challenges, they are also critical in addressing the agricultural employment gap, as they help drive advancements in technology and automation.
“Some of the increasing issues of Canadian consumers – access to healthy and affordable food and climate change – need to be solved by creative, passionate scientists, and we believe 4-H Canada is the partner to attract and inspire young talent to be the changemakers we need now for a better tomorrow,” said Al Driver, Country Division Head of Bayer Crop Science Canada.
Both 4-H Canada and Bayer are well positioned to offer young rural Canadians the tools and space they need to express their scientific curiosity and achieve their career goals. The 4-H Canada Science Fair – now entering its fifth year – is a prime example of youth leadership in science. In 2019, two finalists advanced nationally, bringing home bronze medals at the Intermediate Level from the Canada-Wide Science Fair. Last year, more than 2,200 4-H members from 90 clubs participated in the inaugural Discover Science initiative, where they built wearable monitors, following the engineering design process to build, test and refine the device.