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Inspiring Young Minds with STEM in Canada

Twenty years ago, as Tia West sat in a science classroom watching an interactive soup can race demonstration, she never imagined she’d be leading the same demonstration for a group of students. Yet, that’s just what Tia – who was inspired to pursue a career in engineering after that day in science class – did earlier this year.

Now a research & development lab manager and mechanical engineer for Jacobs’ Chemetics group, Tia taught a group of students, about viscosity and its importance in designing large-scale chemical process plants at a Let’s Talk Science Challenge event in Vancouver.

As a proud supporter of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) advancement, Jacobs employees recently partnered with Let’s Talk Science to invest in Canadian youth through the organization’s annual challenge, which supports the development of youth across Canada through STEM education.

The Let’s Talk Science Challenge is more than a competition for students. It’s an enriching event that connects grade 6−8 students to the STEM community; they join competitors from other schools along with professors, challenge volunteers and industry professionals, such as us! This free, fun-filled program gives students the opportunity to build their team skills, interact with relevant role models and test their abilities, all while learning about interesting STEM topics.

This year, more than 3,300 students participated in the challenge at 25 different post-secondary locations across the country. The one-day challenge includes exciting Q&A rounds and a hands-on engineering design challenge that is unveiled on event day.

Joining Let’s Talk Science in Calgary and Tia in presenting during this year’s challenge was Jacobs Wetlands Biologist Julie Koloff. Julie’s fascination with animals and nature began at a young age and has continued to grow as she completed a M.S. in biology while researching the vocalizations of tropical birds in Costa Rica, and then began her career serving Alberta’s wetland habitats. With a passion for continuous learning, Julie helped the students learn about the importance wetland ecosystems play in western Canada.

STEM plays an important role in developing advanced solutions to connect and sustain the world around us. Through STEM careers, people make energy diversification a reality, build bridges and roads to support mobility, push the boundaries to progress digital intelligence, plan smart cities to make your life easier, protect and treat our drinking water for generations to come. Jacobs is proud to support the future of STEM as part of its promise to deliver a more connected, sustainable world.


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