Originally called Sci-Tech Ontario, Youth Science Ontario was formed in 2001 to support and serve the science fair community in Ontario. Our main role was as a resource group to support the regional science and technology fair organizations in Ontario with resources including information, help in fund raising, and our coordination of events and programs. Key programs included:
Since 2008, the organization has worked towards expanding its role beyond science fair to support a variety of community-based youth science initiatives. With the support of a Trillium grant, Youth Science Ontario is working with communities to start new Science Olympics and Innovation Expos. Additional information about these programs can be found on the Programs page of the web site.
We believe strongly in what we call a “Community Sustainability” model; we work with local volunteers to start a new program, and then support that program through the start-up phase and into the next few years so that it becomes sustainable in the local community. This model allows us to work with more communities and to develop an ever-growing network of successful local/regional youth science events.
We also facilitate networking between these local and regional volunteer committees so that they can share best practices and learn from each other. This model leverages the knowledge embodied in these committed volunteer committees.
The result is improved youth science events in communities across the province. As the committees learn from each other, they improve the quality of their events and the way they promote it to youth and the local community. They also increase awareness of the importance of positive science, engineering and technology experiences for youth within the community, thus strengthening the local community itself.