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Monday, December 15, 2003
Aliant supports Discovery Centre Outreach program

Aliant recently donated $10,000 to the Nova Scotia Discovery Centre to continue its support of a new science outreach program.   
This new science program wowed students, teachers and special guests at Harbourside Elementary School in Cape Breton during the recent kick-off event.  Michael Gillespie, Aliant Regional Manager for Cape Breton, joined Dr. Dale Keefe, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada representative, and Liz Batstone, Executive Director of Discovery Centre, in Whitney Pier to officially launch Science on the Road, Discovery Centre’s newest program. 
Cool science demonstrations and in-class workshops are the basis of the program.  “We began this as a pilot project and soon realized that schools, especially those outside of HRM, are eager to have programs such as this,” said Batstone.  “By removing barriers that often make students uncomfortable with the subject, Science on the Road will introduce students to science in their everyday lives and show them how it can be part of their future careers.”

In an effort to reach as many students as possible in Nova Scotia, this program was created by Discovery Centre in partnership with NSERC and the W. Garfield Weston Foundation with support from Aliant, RBC Financial Group, Imperial Oil Foundation and O’Regan’s. “We want to see young people attracted to science and engineering by taking part in activities that are fun and rewarding,” said Tom Brzustowski, President of NSERC.

“We knew that this kind of program was something that would satisfy a number of groups. Students get to experience the fun in learning science, teachers are supported with their science curriculum, principals like the cost effectiveness and we get our message out that science is fun and it’s everywhere” said Batstone. 
This project is now in the midst of a hugely successful run in Cape Breton and will head for schools in and around the Halifax Regional School Board from January until March 2004.  Then it’s on the road again to the Annapolis Valley.  It is expected that approximately 45,000 will participate in the program as it visits all areas of the province over the next three years.

The NSERC PromoScience program helps organizations that give young Canadians opportunities to increase their knowledge of science and engineering, and encourages these students to consider careers in science and technology. NSERC is a key federal agency investing in people, discovery, and innovation.

Discovery Centre is a non-profit organization whose mission is to stimulate interest, enjoyment and understanding of science and technology through innovative and interactive experiences.  This hands-on science centre houses interactive exhibits available to the public seven days a week and has a growing public and educational program for schools and community groups throughout the province.
For more information about this program, please contact Dawn Boylan, Manager Community Relations at dawn.boylan@aliant.ca.

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