Celebrating those who give back
Name: Matthew Tyson
Title: Owner Century Sound Sales & Service
We reached out to area business owner Matthew Tyson of Century Sound to find out why he chooses to support the STEAM Education Centre and how you can too! Matthew has helped the STEAM Centre since the beginning through lending speaker equipment to allow the Centre to host various events and has since created an onsite e-waste bin to help our re//BUIILD.IT Community Computer Donation program connect more people in our community.
When did you get involved with STEAM?
I am going to have to give that credit to my daughter. When you were located on Wellington Street we were there for the open house because of her involvement with robotics. Everyone involved was very engaged and truly supported the kids curiosity and willingness to learn.
Thank you for creating an onsite bin to help our re//BUILD.IT Community Computer Donation program. Tell me why you created the onsite bin and who you hope that it will help?
We are a consumer electronics store and our customers want to get rid of replacement equipment responsibly. We made ourselves a STEAM repurpose centre to accommodate our customers and allow them to help the STEAM Centre with providing repurposed computers, speakers, keyboards, monitors and mice.
How many computers do you think you have donated?
Already there have been over 20 computer devices and accessories donated to the re//BUILD.IT Community program.
What made you decide to give your first donation to the STEAM Centre?
My team and I are big supporters of supporting our community. To provide kids with the opportunity to take equipment apart, learn all the components and their functions, then come up with solutions and that's what experimenting is all about... Whether they prevail or fail - the process of the steps makes everyone a winner.
How do you think local businesses can support charities like the STEAM Centre in other ways?
Awareness. It’s all about helping to raise awareness. Approach local businesses. Build awareness and keep it out there. Support your community!
We recently did a campaign to help local downtown businesses pivot during the pandemic to online options. How does raising awareness online help everyone- businesses and charities alike?
If you are part of the downtown or a part of the group and you generate excitement then people get excited. I can tell the difference that when I am on social media it generates a lot of excitement for downtown. Raising awareness is up to people like you or me to do that extra shout out and tell family and friends and that word will spread. It works.
Your daughter is now a summer student leader at STEAM. What do you hope she gets out of the experience?
The cool thing about that is that she gets to interact with people and experience structure and see all of the processes that she would not experience in a classroom environment. The STEAM Centre provides hands- on education that not only benefits my daughter but all the kids who get involved.
Join Matthew and help donate used computer equipment to our re//BUIILD.IT community computer donation program by emailing email@example.com or phone 226-212-0048 or donate financially at: www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/steam-education-centres-incorporated/?sm=1
MYFM 94.1 and Williams Funeral Home Ltd present STEAM Students of the Month for July
STEAM Centre Students of the Month July 2021
Name: Subhadra Nair and Shintu John
School: Fanshawe College – Public Relations-Corporate Communications
Time with STEAM Centre: 2 months
As a part of Fanshawe College’s Public Relations and Communications Program, Shintu and Subhadra came to STEAM Education Centre to support the social media marketing team for promoting our STEAM@Home summer camps, video editing and also assisting with our STEAM Community Studio community impact events. These students assisted with the Virtual Marketplace #RailwayCitySocial event to help support local businesses pivot online during a pandemic and are currently working on a project for the St Thomas Fire Department in an effort to help raise awareness about the importance of smoke detector installations and upkeep for seniors in the community. Subhadra has even spent much of her internship connecting with us virtually directly from her home in India despite the 9.5-hour time difference! Both students are extremely talented and dedicated. We are thrilled to introduce Shintu and Subhadra, and the next generation of teachers, innovators and problem solvers. Learn more about STEAM Education Centre’s school and community programs for student engagement and experiential learning at www.steameducation.ca.
Hi, we are Shintu John and Subhadra Nair and we are doing Public Relations-Corporate Communications at Fanshawe College. The Virtual Marketplace #RailwayCitySocial project that we worked on through STEAM Community Studio, is intended to encourage local businesses to participate in an Instagram Clinic to help them to do business online. During the pandemic it was hard for local businesses to pivot to an online format so we have designed posters to invite businesses to join a learning Instagram clinic and win prizes. The event also invited the public to join the contest and to engage online with local downtown businesses. We got a chance to come up with different designs for the project. We also worked for Bold Biology Camp and Super Steam Camp by making posters and editing videos. Currently, we are working on a Smoke Detector Campaign to make the seniors aware of the importance of smoke detectors.
I am doing my Postgraduate course in Public Relations and Corporate Communications at Fanshawe College. As a part of my studies, I got a chance to work with STEAM as a placement. The experience I am getting from working with the team is really great and will be very helpful for my future professional life. I was able to use most of my theoretical knowledge from college and understood how it is to be done in a real scenario.
I completed Advanced Communications for Professionals from Fanshawe College last year. As part of my PR course, I got a chance to work with STEAM as an intern. It is a great experience to work with STEAM Education Centre and I have learned a lot from this time being with them. I think the experience and knowledge I am getting from the team will be helpful for my career. It is helping me to understand how to apply things in a workspace scenario which we have studied in our course.
What difference do you think the project you are working on will have?
The Virtual Marketplace is helpful for local businesses to learn about the role of Instagram to attract more customers and how to use it and the Summer Camps will provide the students with a chance to have fun and learn at their home with their parents. It is an interesting theme to do a camp with family. Finally, the Smoke Detector project is worthwhile in the present scenario in that it helps the seniors to be aware of the need for detectors and their usage. We consider this as a great opportunity to also help the fire department to reduce fire fatalities.
Celebrating those who give back
Name: Allan Hughson
Title: Owner/Manager Williams Funeral Home Ltd.
We were so grateful that Allan Hughson decided to reach out to MYFM and sponsor a STEAM Student to be showcased each month. The Student’s are really appreciating the recognition. We thought it was such a unique way to give back to a charity that we wanted to talk to Allan to find out what inspires him to get involved.
What prompted you to make the decision to support in this way?
I think it is important to recognize leaders that are people who think outside the box. STEAM allows them to develop who they are rather than a set formula. The fact that these students go to the STEAM Centre shows that they can think outside the box. They are the leaders and designers and mathematicians of the future. STEAM builds students up rather than tearing them down. I’m a strong supporter of the arts and theatre and thinking outside the box. I think it is so important to think differently. Be who you are. Don’t worry what the rest of the world thinks.
Why do you think it is important to celebrate students in STEAM?
It’s great to see the joy in the eyes of the students that are able to accomplish something. As a society we are now more open to so many things. It’s a good time to be born! Girls for a while were told that they weren’t any good at math and yet some of the best mathematicians are women. If you tell someone enough that they aren’t going to be good at something then they won’t try. My brother was taught special ed by a teacher who said “you’re not stupid, you just have to think differently”. It changed his perspective. When you are smart you know that you don’t fit in. You’re not sitting down playing euchre with your friends. You are sitting down and talking about the Pythagorean theorem. The worst thing in the world is to feel like you don’t fit in. When they go to the STEAM Centre you can see their joy and a place where they fit in. If I were young I would have wanted to be involved in these programs.
What STEAM skills would students need to do your job?
To do my job you need to
Why do you think STEAM is important?
STEAM teaches leaders not followers. I always told my kids failure is not about trying something that doesn’t work, failure is not doing anything. That person that developed the vaccine had to keep trying. Thomas Edison had many versions of the lightbulb before it was the final version. They were not failures, they were prototypes. STEAM teaches those skills.
Why should more local businesses connect with and donate to local charities like STEAM
Because we need to support our local community. We have the brains and the children out there and they just need an assist. Bringing those people out that want to contribute will end up helping the community as a whole. As a community we try to promote the citizens involved. You feel good about it . You can see the results as opposed to sending a donation away. When you give locally, your children, your grandchildren and friends will see the results and the community will benefit as a whole. STEAM helps you channel a new path or way.
Giving back can be creative! Let us know how you would like to get involved.
You can also donate to our educational programs at https://www.steameducation.ca/donate.html#/
On May 17th, the City of St Thomas council unanimously approved the Model trial of our STEAM Community Studio Reuse proposal. Students from Western's Environmental Sciences Health Promotion Community Engaged Learning class spent time with the STEAM Education Centre learning skills like Design Thinking and Research Methodology. The proposal was originally provided by Director of Environmental Services/City Engineer Justin Lawrence for the purposes of diverting waste from the landfill and increasing reuse options for the City. The students partnered with Habitat for Humanity's St. Thomas Restore manager, Dana Erickson to create a proposal where once launched, items dropped by the public for reuse will be picked up and brought to be sold at the restore which will ultimately benefit the future building of homes for those in need.
Please enjoy reading the students' prepared proposal that will now enter the first phase of the trial which will be the addition of a C-Can to the City Recycling Centre site. Stay tuned for further updates!
MYFM 94.1 and Williams Funeral Home Ltd present STEAM Student of the Month for June
Meet the STEAM Student of the Month - June 2021
Name: Thomas Papp-Simon
School: Western University – Honours Specialization Graduate 2021
Time with STEAM: 3 months
As a part of Western University’s Community Engaged Learning Seminar in Biology course, Thomas came to us to support the creation of the Bold Biology Summer Camp@Home experience. As a student group lead, Thomas helped to develop multiple engaging projects that we are excited to unveil for this summer’s camp that will provide fun learning experiments for the entire family. These ideas led to his becoming a Western University “Share Your Experience” essay winner making our summer camp now award winning! We are thrilled to introduce Thomas, and the next generation of teachers, innovators and problem solvers. Learn more about STEAM Education Centre’s school and community programs for student engagement and experiential learning at www.steameducation.ca.
Hi, my name is Thomas Papp-Simon, and I just graduated from Western University with an Honours Specialization in Biology. As a part of the Community Engaged Learning program at Western, I worked on developing a biology summer camp along with two of my classmates, Alice and Brian. This biology summer program was designed to introduce different aspects of biology in a fun and interactive manner in a week-long summer camp. Each day of the week has its own theme and is composed of a few experiments where the students can explore different areas of the diverse field of biology!
I’ve just finished the last year of my biology degree, where one of the courses I had to take was a seminar course. This course gave my colleagues and I the opportunity to partner with the STEAM Education Centre with the goal of interactively teaching young students about biology! I used to make educational videos on YouTube when I was younger, so that experience helped me in making the educational videos for this biology summer program, where I explained how to do each experiment step-by-step.
What difference do you think the project you are working on will have?
It is important to realize that not every student has the same privileges when it comes to learning and education. Developing this project will give the opportunity and the resources needed for those students to learn more about biology and science. Programs like this one can be developed for different subjects related to science, technology, engineering, art, and math, which can encourage more and more students to become interested in being our next generation of scientists!
Celebrating those who give back
Name: Sarah Macintyre
Title: Manager, Ottawa Public Library
We reached out to monthly donor and past volunteer Board Chair, Sarah Macintyre to find out why she chooses to support the STEAM Education Centre and how you can too!
When did you get involved with STEAM?
"I was involved at the very beginning when the idea first came up as a possibility. It was just a few folks in a room with a little bit of seed funding. We felt as though St Thomas had a good energy but there was a gap - there was no tech hub. The STEAM Centre started as a way to help youth maximize their potential in St Thomas... At the time, I managed the technology department at St. Thomas Public Library, so it was a natural fit."
During the time you were on the board what was your favourite memory?
"For me what was most rewarding, was getting to work with such great people. When I look back to all the positive things, watching the folks, stakeholders and other board members show up to the meetings and really giving it their all. Getting to know the team. It's special when you have a variety of people with different backgrounds come together because of something that they all believe in."
You’ve been a regular monthly donor. What made you decide to give first donation?
"I guess the very first donation I gave was the gift of time. It's where I started. I was attending the meetings, participating in Doors Open St Thomas and getting involved with the STEAM Centre. When you are in the role of the Board Chair, especially for a non profit organization, a fair bit of that role is fund development. You cannot approach community organizations about giving money if you are not actually doing it yourself. Early on I said I have to put my money where my mouth is so I became a monthly donor."
What keeps you donating even though you moved away?
"It's an easy way to support the Centre, and it has just become a regular part of my budget. I don't have to think about it because it's automatically set up. At the end of the year I get the full year tax receipt, and it’s easy to manage. For me, it may be a small gesture, but for the STEAM Centre I know that monthly donations are a great place to start, and that they are an important part of ongoing fund development. Just because I moved away doesn't mean that the STEAM Centre stops existing! All of the great reasons I got involved in the first place are still there, and I want to continue to support the community, this project, and the program. There is no reason to stop; I believed in it then and I believe in it now."
There are so many charities. Why consider the STEAM Centre to donate to?
"When we have opportunities in our lives to give back I think it is vitally important. What is really great about the Steam Centre is that when you do give your money you are able to see the impact of that. You are able to see in your community the difference that dollar has made. You see the programs that they are running, you see the teens and people being positively impacted by their services. I know that the outcomes are not just kids playing with technology - the outcome of supporting a program like this is supporting things like university readiness, and career development in kids and teens.
Having an innovation mindset is key for our students to really grasp what that means, especially as our society starts to deal with tremendous problems like climate change. I think the kind of curiosity that an organization like the STEAM Centre fosters in our community cannot be understated. You give money to an organization and you really see the kind of good that it is doing. I really think it can't be beat."
In your opinion what is the most important thing the organization does?
"I think that it is connecting with the youth. I think that the STEAM Centre's strength and value they bring to the community is that they offer a unique service, a unique experience. They are connecting the teens and the students to a new way of thinking, a new way of problem solving, which is so important. It’s making sure that the students and participants leave their programs feeling inspired and feeling as though this is something that they could get involved in in the future."
Join Sarah and become a monthly donor today at:
Student volunteer, Katie Franklin is featured as the STEAM Student of the Month at
Supported by MYFM 94.1 and Williams Funeral Home Limited
Katie is volunteering with our STEAM Community Studio project, Reducing Waste: Finding reuse for items in a cluttered world. Katie and her fellow Western University Community Engaged Learning student's had a goal of helping to create more reuse options for the City of St Thomas. Stay tuned for news on this project soon and how you can help the environment on your next house clean-out!
Student volunteer, Shukri Matan is featured as the STEAM Student of the Month at
Supported by MYFM 94.1 and Williams Funeral Home Limited
Shukri is volunteering with our STEAM Community Studio Virtual Marketplace project with the goal of helping downtown St Thomas businesses get more online presence and recognition. Stay tuned for a downtown wide instagram event coming soon!
The STEAM Community Studio project helps create student engaged learning by providing them with proposals from the community on local issues. After selecting the initial four community impact projects for STEAM Community Studio, next came the process of connecting students with these ideas to create an experiential learning opportunity. Our STEAM team worked with learning coordinators from TVDSB and Western to help perfectly pair students with a challenge that would grow their curriculum experience. The STEAM Community Studio then spends time connecting with industry experts that can help further the educational experience and help the students research their projects.
The students are able to work through the processes of brainstorming, Design Thinking and developing ideas for creating a prototype that could receive funds up to $2000 towards proof of concept. These funds were generously donated by the Estate of Donna Bushell and facilitated through Andrew Gunn Consulting. The process will also have another level of student involvement in the role of Young & Free Press reporter, Sophie Mutch who will join in to report on the progress of the projects.
We have now selected the student groups and are pleased to announce them and their industry partners for each project. Welcome to the Western University environmental health sciences, Eagle Heights elementary Excellerators group, Ivey Business School volunteers, Oakridge Secondary, St Joseph’s High school volunteers and students from Arthur Voaden and H.B. Beal SHSM classes!
1) Reducing Waste: Finding reuse for items in a cluttered world
We would like to welcome Kalin Forgie, Katie Franklin, and Lauren McNair from Environmental Health Sciences: Environmental Health Promotions 3rd year program 3rd at Western University! These students are working to tackle building a prototype plan for a Reuse model at the St Thomas Community Recycling Centre (CRC). The plan was suggested to the STEAM Centre by the City of St Thomas. The students have worked on learning the Design Thinking process with Director of Education Fred Cahill, Research Methodology with St Thomas Library Fundraising & Outreach Coordinator, Amelia Bainbridge and have been able to meet with industry expert Michelle Shannon, Waste Management Coordinator of the CRC and City of St Thomas engineer Justin Lawrence. Using the information and training provided they are busy developing a plan for a waste reuse model that will have a positive environmental impact in the St Thomas area. The students are compiling a report to be presented to City Council for review.
2) Creating Sensory Spaces
This proposal, brought to us by Wellkin Child & Youth engagement council, sees an interesting collaboration between the Eagle Heights Elementary School Excellerator’s group, made up of students from grades 5-7, with three Grade 12 students (pictured above) from St Joseph’s Catholic High School. Students Monica Paul, Kaylee Simoes and Madison Stacey are acting as mentors while simultaneously going through the learning process themselves.
The objective for this group was to learn about the role that empathy plays in the Design thinking process so that discoveries can be made to create modular sensory panels that would suit a variety of Wellkin’s guests. Director of Education, Fred Cahill took them on a journey to learn the brainstorming process using a Crazy Eights workshop and Melissa Petkau of Jason’s Wheelhouse discussed sensory needs that may be encountered during the project. These are sensory aspects that she has seen in her role with the centre and as a member of the Complex Behaviour Intervention team as part of the Grand Erie Board of Education.
Students also learned from the STEAM team how to create their prototypes by using Tinkercad software and created a foam core prototype using a bag of sensory supplies. They will be able to present their creations and their findings to members of Wellkin’s Student Engagement group and to the Youth Engagement Facilitator, Jessica Ross. From there the prototypes will be given to the Arthur Voaden Manufacturing and Design SHSM class to work on constructing next level modules based on their designs.
3) Virtual Marketplace for Small Businesses
Shurki Matan from the Ivey Business school is the lead mentor of SHSM students from H.B. Beal for supporting the Downtown Development Board’s proposal of creating a virtual marketplace presence for downtown businesses. Shukri and two other Western Students, Rohan Noronha and Behdokht Mazahari worked to study the downtown core's existing online presence, assess their needs and to find possible solutions for increasing this presence with the goal of helping to generate revenue and awareness of local businesses. They have received great support from local businesses including; Canden Tech, Streamliners Espresso Bar, Aline's Fine Lingerie and Your Fish and Chips to help build their knowledge of local business needs.
4) Audio/Video Production Studio for Youth Skill Building
Students from Oakridge Secondary School's Visual Arts/ Video/ Design grade classes are working through the Design Thinking process with Fred Cahill, Director of Education at STEAM Education Centre and learning from industry experts including podcaster, Trudy Chapman of Meanderings with Trudy and Derrick Beckford, Production Manager and Technical Director in the Broadcast and Live Industry with the goal of designing an AV Production space for the Ignite Youth Centre. This project will help connect with local youth and student leaders at the Ignite Youth Centre and give them a chance to create podcasts and videos to get their voices heard.
Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this process of helping to make real community impact in Elgin- St Thomas! Stay tuned as our next project and student partners will be announced soon.
If you have an idea for a possible project/issue you'd like resolved email us today at firstname.lastname@example.org!