Actua

Actua

February 20, 2009 11:00 ET

Media Release: Monsanto Support Fuels Youth Science Education Program

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 20, 2009) - Youth across Canada will embark on a journey of discovery in 2009. They will put their young minds to work designing and constructing roller coasters. They will harness the power of the wind by making turbines, and discover the power of the sun by making and racing solar powered cars! Some will even extract DNA from strawberries or make and test their own toothpaste. Others might dabble in a little bio-medical engineering and construct a robotic hand, nimble enough to pick up a candy bar!

This year the Monsanto Fund will play an important role in helping all this happen through its infusion of $75,000 in support for Actua, a Canadian national charity with a mission to inspire youth through hands-on science, engineering and technology programming. Support is directed specifically for programming reaching underrepresented youth audiences, namely Aboriginal youth, girls, underprivileged youth and at-risk youth.

"Our goal is to build confidence and interest among youth in the areas of science and technology. By engaging youth in experiences that demonstrate how science is exciting and fun, they start to see the potential role that science can play in their future," says Jennifer Flanagan, Actua President and CEO. "We are very pleased to have the support of the Monsanto Fund in 2009."

Research demonstrates the importance of early engagement in science and technology activities - before attitudes about these fields have developed. Most youth do not have the opportunity to interact with scientists and engineers and therefore are unaware of the diverse opportunities available in these fields. By engaging underrepresented audiences, at a critical early age before career decisions are made, Actua helps ensure that all youth become life-long learners while contributing to the development of a diverse talent source from which to draw for future work in science, engineering and technology.

"Helping young people explore science is one of the key focus areas of our corporate giving program. As a science-based agricultural company working to bring new technologies and solutions to farmers throughout the world, it is important to Monsanto to expose youth to all the possibilities that exist in science and how it impacts every aspect of our daily lives," said Trish Jordan, public affairs director with Monsanto Canada based in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Actua is Canada's leading science, engineering and technology youth outreach network. Over 2.9 million young Canadians have been inspired through their participation in Actua's positive, hands-on educational workshops, camps and community outreach initiatives. Each year, Actua's growing network of member organizations reach over 225,000 young Canadians in over 450 communities nationwide. For more information about Actua visit www.actua.ca.

Established in 1964, the Monsanto Fund (www.monsantofund.org) is Monsanto Company's philanthropic arm. It aims to bridge the gap between people's needs and their available resources. Monsanto is an agricultural company and a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. Monsanto remains focused on enabling both small-holder and large-scale farmers to produce more from their land while conserving more of our world's natural resources such as water and energy. You can learn more about Monsanto's business and commitments at www.monsanto.ca.

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