Mobile learning lab to promote STEM and skilled trades for youth across the region

A first-of-its-kind mobile learning lab will be rolling into Ontario this summer and heading to Bruce and Grey Counties.

Pictured (left to right): Alana Murray, Director for the BWDSB, Jan Johnstone, Board Trustee, Dave Barrett, Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program Coordinator/Facilitator, Mark Goetz, Deputy Mayor South Bruce, Laurie Swami, President and CEO Nuclear Waste Management Organization, Mitch Twolan, Mayor Huron-Kinloss & Michael Bethune, Superintendent of Education

This unique learning experience will help students explore science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) thanks to strong leadership in South Bruce and Huron-Kinloss and the communities’ work with the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO).

With the help of trained staff, this fun, informative and hands-on mobile learning lab will help provide more opportunities to more students to explore and consider a future career in the skilled trades and STEM fields. This new lab will increase opportunities for students from Grade 7 onwards to engage with these dynamic topics.

The lab is expected to officially start rolling in the summer of 2019 across the Bluewater District School Board (BWDSB) & Bruce Grey Catholic District School Board (BGCDSB). It is expected to reach over 20,000 students in 50 elementary schools and 11 secondary schools.

The lab will initially consist of simulation software and technology, including:

  • a welding simulator
  • a crane simulator
  • an excavator simulator
  • a loader/back hoe and dozer simulator
  • STEM simulation software
  • 3D printing and robotics

The learning opportunity was developed thanks to partnerships between the BWDSB, BGCDSB, Four County Labour Market Board, Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program and the collaborative efforts of the Township of Huron-Kinloss, Municipality of South Bruce and the Nuclear Waste Management Organization.

Leaders in Huron-Kinloss and South Bruce recognize the important role the skilled trades play in the local economy and the opportunities for future employment in the Four County Area.

Both communities provided $12,500 and the NWMO contributed $50,000. The trailer for components of the lab was provided by the Four Country Labour Market Board.

Huron-Kinloss Mayor Mitch Twolan

“We recognize there is a significant shortage of skilled tradespeople in the region.  Though our involvement in the Nuclear Waste Management Organization’s (NWMO) site selection process we were able to secure the resources to support the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) and give our youth hands on experience and expose them to the skilled trades at a young age.”

South Bruce Deputy Mayor Mark Goetz

“This is a fantastic way to address a critical need in our area. We’re really glad to be working with the NWMO to be able to support this unique Learning Lab. As a community rooted in agriculture we see the importance of providing our youth with hands-on opportunities to learn about skilled trades. Kudos to the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program for developing this adaptive learning tool; we look forward to seeing the Mobile Learning Lab in our community!”

NWMO President and CEO Laurie Swami

“At the NWMO we are passionate about promoting the skilled trades and STEM education — especially to young people. It’s one of the most rewarding aspects of our work in communities, and it’s always such a joy to join local leadership in supporting the jobs of the future. I’m thrilled to see those values come to life in this mobile learning lab.

The Township of Huron-Kinloss and the Municipality of South Bruce took the initiative to get this mobile learning lab rolling, and we are so happy to support the partnerships that made it a reality. Our site selection process is all about working with communities to enable their priorities and build their capacity. This is one of the best ways we can go about doing so.”

Dave Barrett, Coordinator/Facilitator for the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship

“With over 20,400 students in 50 elementary schools and 11 high schools covering an area of 8,492.26 km in Bruce and Grey Counties, it is really exciting to be able to bring Skilled Trades experiences directly to students; particularly in Grades 7 and 8, thanks to this innovative partnership.”

Discovery Western Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Summer Camp

From July 22-26, 2019 Discovery Western will bring their Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) summer camp to South Bruce! This 5 day camp will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Mildmay Carrick Recreation Complex; extended care is available at an additional fee for early drop-off and late pick-up, please inquire when registering for more information on this service.

Students entering Grades 4-6 in September 2019 are invited to register for this fun, active and engaging day camp! Registration can be completed online here, or in person at the South Bruce Municipal Office.

The cost for one week of camp is $200/ camper. South Bruce residents are eligible to receive a $100 subsidy through the South Bruce – Nuclear Waste Management Organization Early Investments in Education program. For more information please email or call Cassandra at 519-392-6623.

Register Now for the South Bruce Discovery Western Summer Day Camp in July 2019!

Cancelled: March 7, 2019 SBCLC Meeting

The March 7, 2019 meeting of the South Bruce Community Liaison Committee, scheduled for 7:00p.m. at the South Bruce Municipal Office has been cancelled.

Education presenter, Andrew Parmenter, and all agenda items from the March 7 meeting have been re-scheduled to be heard at the next regular meeting of the SBCLC on April 4, 2019 at 7:00p.m. in the Formosa Hall. Please join us then to learn more about our local sub-surface geology.

Becky Smith Looks Forward to New Role with the NWMO

This is a photo of the NWMO’s Regional Communications Manager Becky Smith.

Becky Smith, Regional Communications Manager for the NWMO for Southwestern Ontario, is looking forward to meeting and working with residents of South Bruce and Huron-Kinloss areas.


Becky Smith has joined the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) as the Regional Communications Manager for Southwestern Ontario. She brings over 10 years of communications experience working with the federal government.

Becky was born and raised in Bruce County and brings a unique understanding of the local issues and priorities affecting both Bruce and Huron Counties, having supported the local Member of Parliament since 2008. She previously held a number of roles in the federal government for the Minister of the Environment.

“I’m excited to join the dynamic team of individuals at the NWMO,” she said. “I’m looking forward to building on the relationships I’ve made in the area over the last 10 years as I embrace the opportunity to engage and communicate with the local communities about Canada’s plan for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel.”

Becky completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at the University of Louisiana where she was a member of the Track and Field team. She currently resides in Saugeen Shores with her husband and two children.

Becky will be based out of the NWMO Learn More Centres in Ripley (48 Queen Street) and Teeswater (12B Clinton Street). Drop by and say “hello”.