On the Road to Adventures

Posted on Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Frank Bouchard

Adventures in Engineering and Science (AES) has been given an award of $75,000 spread over the next three years. This generous endowment from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council’s (NSERC) PromoScience Program was received on June 23, 2014.

 ‘’The NSERC Promo grant will allow us to invest in new rapid prototyping tools like 3D printers, laptops, portable CNC cutters that we will be able to bring on the road with us. This will allow us to visit even more communities and show them the wonders of engineering and science with an emphasis on rapid prototyping’’, explained Outreach Program Manager Frank Bouchard.

This manager, who enjoyed Adventures in his youth, confided that he had never pictured himself as the director of the program. Today, his dream is to give back to his community. ‘’I want to provide the participants with the same great experience that I had as a kid’’, said Frank. 

 Bouchard has been at the helm of the Faculty’s outreach programs for 6 years and has developed his recipe for success: a love of the business; lots of hard work; technical expertise and some big goals.

This award-winning program is also the result of a whole team effort. Frank stresses the importance of highly qualified engineering and science student instructors to ensure the success of the program. While being role models, these instructors ‘’provide participants with an experience they will always remember, which makes our program so successful’’, said this Director.

 AES is an award-winning outreach program that offers hands-on workshops and camps designed for kids from kindergarten to high school. Originally developed by two visionary students, Maurice Poirier and Eric Dagenais, AES aims to promote engineering and science studies and encourage young people to later enter these fields of study.

 Through AES, kids can make startling discoveries and enjoy the new worlds of science, engineering, and technology while developing their imagination, creativity and sense of innovation. AES also strives to instil into these young minds the value of entrepreneurship.

 NSERC has supported AES through its PromoScience funding in the past. In 2010, the grant covered transportation cost, and programming improvements, and most importantly, the creation of a full time director position.

 In 2014, ‘’the PromoScience grant renewal is great because it will allow us to keep enhancing the dynamic hands-on programming that we offer. When the grant was renewed, we were very happy since our funding was almost doubled’’, clarified Bouchard. 

Want to learn more about Adventures in Engineering and Science?
Check out AES Stats.

  • A significant growth in reach and scope from 2010 to 2013; participant numbers went from 818 to 1989 and workshops from 269 to 600
  • Substantial help to low income and at risk communities; about 160 subsidized bursary included in local camps
  • Over a dozen permanent funders and partnerships including Actua, Ontario Power Generation, and a number of aboriginal organizations
  • A team composed of bilingual undergraduate science and engineering students
  • Emphasis on girls through three engineering programs designed Just for Girls: Go Eng Girl, Go Code Girl, Girl Guide Badge day
  • Summer Camps available in four different cities: Ottawa, North Bay, Pembroke, and Cornwall

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