BU receives $95,000 to support coding education for youth

January 30, 2018

Logo for Mini University shows the text "Mini U" in a blue circle, surrounded by a pencil and paper, filmstrip, laboratory flask, paintbrush and pallet, bow and arrow, and a computer.BRANDON – Westman youth will get a head start on learning the valuable skill of coding, thanks to $95,000 of federal funding received by Brandon University’s Mini University through Actua.

Actua, a not-for-profit organization that delivers youth programming in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, is distributing funding to 35 network members nationally after receiving $10 million through the federal government’s new CanCode program.

“Coding is the next big job. Industries ranging from automotive and agri-food to the life sciences and clean technology need coders, given their increasingly digital nature. That’s why our government is equipping Canadian youth with the digital skills they need for the jobs of the future. By teaching kids to code today, we’re positioning Canada for future success across all industries and sectors,” said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

The funding will allow Mini University to offer new and improved programs in digital skills and coding through better equipment, more staffing and bursaries for at-risk youth. New programs include digital music composition and an all-girls tech club for Grades 3–8 participants, as well as new robotics and technology activities for students from Kindergarten through Grade 2.

“Coding is a high-demand skill that is continually increasing in importance globally,” said Dr. Nancy Stanley, Mini University Director at Brandon University.

“The programs that we are able to offer, with the support of CanCode and Actua, will give our youth a terrific introduction to this skill and the inspire them to make key contributions in STEM fields in the future.”

The CanCode program is a historic investment by the Government of Canada of $50 million over two years that will support increased access to opportunities for coding and digital skills building for students from Kindergarten through Grade 12.

Actua’s CanCode funding will be used to increase program delivery across Canada by its 35 network member programs, located at universities and colleges across Canada, and its Outreach Team, which delivers programming across the North. It will also support research, teacher training ​(providing teachers training in coding and digital skills as well as resources they can use in the classroom), and Maker Mobile Workshops. Over the two-year period, Actua will engage a total of​ 500,000 youth across every province and territory.


The CanCode program will invest $50 million over two years, starting in 2017-18, to support initiatives providing educational opportunities for coding and digital skills development to Canadian youth from Kindergarten to Grade 12 (K-12). The program aims to equip youth, including traditionally underrepresented groups, with the skills and study incentives they need to be prepared for the jobs of today and the future. Canada’s success in the digital economy depends on leveraging our diverse talent and providing opportunity for all to participate—investing in digital skills development will help to achieve this.


Actua is Canada’s leading science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) youth outreach network representing 35 university and college based members. Each year 250,000 young Canadians in over 500 communities nationwide are inspired through hands-on educational workshops, camps and community outreach initiatives. Actua focuses on the engagement of underrepresented youth through specialized programs for Indigenous youth, girls and young women, at-risk youth and youth living in Northern and remote communities. Actua’s major funders include: Government of Canada, Google Canada, Suncor Energy Foundation, GE Canada, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Finning, Toyota Canada Foundation and Lockheed Martin. For more information about Actua, visit actua.ca


Brandon University combines proud tradition with shared ambition at our growing, progressive campus, where we welcome a diverse and inclusive community. Through our excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship, we educate students to make a meaningful difference as engaged citizens and leaders. Our roots date to our foundation in 1899 as Brandon College, and through 2017–18 we celebrate the 50th anniversary of our charter as a university. Join us at BrandonU.ca