KENORA, ON – Science North continues to expand its Northern Ontario initiatives through the delivery of two new projects in collaboration with Northern partners: THINK Hubs and Beyond Human Limits, Science North’s 12th travelling exhibit, thanks to funding provided by the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund (NOHFC). The Hon. Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, Chair of the NOHFC, and MPP for Kenora-Rainy River was on hand today at an event at the Lake of the Woods Discovery Centre to announce $2 million in NOHFC funding for these projects.
“Education-based exhibits play an important role in Northern Ontario. Not only do they provide fun and engaging science experiences for northerners, but they also generate revenue for host communities and create employment,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines. “By investing in tourism projects that stimulate local economies, we are sending a signal that Northern Ontario is open for business and open for jobs.”
Beyond Human Limits is a highly interactive travelling exhibition, developed and produced by Science North. It brings visitors inside the minds and bodies of extreme athletes through interactive exhibits showcasing science, creativity and innovation inherent in extreme sports. After its successful launch at Science North last year, a customized 100m2 version of the exhibit will embark on a Northern Ontario tour and visit the Thunder Bay Museum, Kenora Discovery Centre, North Bay Museum, Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre in Sault Ste. Marie, and Science Timmins this spring and summer, where it will be seen by more than 25,000 visitors. The economic benefit to Northern Ontario is an estimated $2.3 million.
“The Beyond Human Limits exhibit and the Think Hubs are two incredible additions to our Lake of the Woods Discovery Centre that we are confident will be an attraction for both visitors and our residents. We are thankful for the continued support of Minister Rickford and the NOHFC for the funding which allows us to bring these unique opportunities to Kenora and for Science North who continue to develop innovative and engaging experiences for all ages. Kenora once again benefits as these unique northern opportunities are available because of these two leading partners,” stated Kenora Mayor Daniel Reynard.
Science North is also developing regional ‘THINK Hubs’ that will be installed as part of the visitor experience at Northern attracmodelledThese are modeled on the popular THINK visitor experience recently opened at Science North. At THINK Hubs, visitors will be engaged and inspired in innovative and iterative learning processes. This project will expand Science North’s reach and depth of engagement with audiences of all ages and backgrounds in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, including creating inclusive spaces for specific groups underrepresented in computer science and engineering fields, such as girls and women. The permanent installation of these Hubs will be hosted in six communities across Northern Ontario, including the Lake of the Woods Discovery Centre in Kenora, the Fort Frances Public Library Technology Centre, Thunder Bay Public Library, Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre in Sault Ste. Marie, Science Timmins, and the North Bay Museum, starting in Fall 2019.
“The THINK Hub will help increase our number of visitors and engage a wide audience, particularly youth. It will broaden the scope of learning and increase science experiences in the community,” said Caroline Goulding, CEO of the Fort Frances Public Library Technology Centre.
“Science North’s new Strategic Plan for 2018-2023 focuses on big change, including being the leader in science engagement and creating new collaborations across Northern Ontario. Through these projects in partnership with Northern attractions, Science North aims to build capacity in the North by contributing to the ongoing growth and sustainability of these locations, increasing local spending, providing tourism opportunities and giving local residents access to exciting, new science experiences at these venues.” stated Guy Labine, Science North CEO.