Volume 90, Issue 69

Tuesday, January 28, 1997



Let's talk more money for science

By Karena Walter
Gazette Staff

Let's talk big money.

A program based at Western which promotes science to children has been given $500,000 from the Esso Kids Program of the Imperial Oil Charitable Foundation.

It is the second large donation to Let's Talk Science in recent months. In December the program received $1 million from DuPont Canada. "The private support for Let's Talk Science has been absolutely suburb," president Paul Davenport said.

Let's Talk Science offers programs for children in elementary and secondary schools including partnerships between graduate students and teachers, in-class interactive demonstrations and clubs, an association for girls in science, workshops, conferences and research activities.

The programs are offered both locally and in five provinces and have reached more than 70,000 people since its inception in 1991.

Director and founder, Bonnie Schmidt, said the money will be used to fund staff positions in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta. Funds will support volunteer organizations already in operation.

Schmidt said they do not want to create new programs but will add new units instead. Next year, though, they will be able to offer new programs.

Imperial Oil is all about science and technology and gives large amounts of its money to youth-based programs, Schmidt said.

"More and more foundations and corporations are giving larger grants to fewer operations," she said, adding the larger sums make more impact in one area.

Let's Talk Science actively seeks out sponsors and Schmidt had to put together a document based on the program's background, goals and budget. "It's becoming very competitive."

However, donations are viewed as an investment, Schmidt said. "It's really an incredible privilege when you're chosen as a foundation. We've been very fortunate."

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Copyright The Gazette 1997