by Gloria Welton
STEAM PEI is a non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire young Islanders from kindergarten to grade 12 to pursue learning and careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, art, and math by fostering their curiosity and confidence through experiential learning opportunities.
They offer engaging hands-on programs across PEI, including camps, in-school workshops, after-school classes, birthday parties, special events, and team-building workshops.
Kimberly Wishart Chu Foon is the Director of Partnership Development for STEAM PEI and is also the organization’s Climate Science Specialist. Her background helps her combine her dual role in developing partnerships and more science programming on PEI. She is currently finishing her PhD in Environmental Science at UPEI. Her thesis looks at the collaborative practice of working in conservation.
She is from Trinidad, completed her masters in the UK, and then worked as a Conservation Officer. During that time of her career, she developed a deep interest in working collaboratively with communities.
“I felt that a lot of really creative projects came about as a result of pooling knowledge. Because of this interest and through my connections, I made the journey to PEI.
“I have been on PEI for about four and a half years. This Island reminds me of my community back home. I also like how tight knit and friendly people are.”
STEAM PEI was founded to create more engagement for youth in these subject areas. It was recognized that starting this learning and engagement at a young age will spark curiosity about what careers these skills could lead to.
“We work closely with the secondary school system on PEI throughout the school year and try to tie our programming into the school curriculum. Teachers have welcomed us into the classroom and now that COVID-19 restrictions have lifted, we hope the next school year will be even more active.”
Kimberly spoke of the many partners who help make this all happen. For example, their partnership with the Clean Foundation in Nova Scotia helps bring climate science programming to PEI.
“We also partnered with the Canadian Alliance for Skills and Training in Life Sciences (CASTL) on PEI. They offer multiple applied learning streams and pathways for individuals to acquire the academic knowledge, technical and professional skills to have a successful career in life sciences.”
About the staff
There are six year-round, full-time staff, in addition to about 10 to 15 more staff during the summer months. A number of the summer staff stay on for part-time work during the school year.
- Makerspace Manager
- Director of Partnership Development/Climate Science Specialist
- Manager and Facilitator – French programs
STEAM PEI is currently hiring for an Office Manager position and looking for an experienced Educator to take on the role of Director of Program Development and Facilitation.
STEAM PEI has a new space on the main level of the Epetwitk Assembly of Councils building, located opposite Founders Hall, in Suite 102, 8 Stan MacPherson Way, Charlottetown.