Stem Cell Network has a mandate to engage the public in the expanding field of stem cell research.
SCN’s funded investigators regularly participate in public engagement activities that help inform Canadians about the progress and challenges that exist within the regenerative medicine sector. In addition, SCN supports members of its policy research community in bringing together diverse groups of people to discuss perspectives and activities related to issues such as unproven stem cell therapies, regulation of stem cell research and treatments. Moving forward, SCN will also be focused on working with patients and patient representative groups to ensure they are informed about stem cell therapies, clinical trials; and to gather patient input critical for moving research into the clinic.
Two hallmark stem cell education programs supported by SCN are described below.
SCN and Let’s Talk Science — an organization that inspires youth to pursue science careers — launched StemCellTalks to promote stem cell discovery in Canadian classrooms. StemCellTalks connects teachers with graduate students and researchers who work in the stem cell field and who are eager to share their passion with grade 10–12 students. These experts visit schools to lead one-day workshops that focus on a specific theme (e.g. stem cells and cancer). Students are provided with an interactive space for discussing biology and ethical issues as they relate to the latest research and therapies, under the guidance of mentors in the field.
StemCellTalks has already brought emerging and established scientists to high schools in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec, and demand is growing. Click here to learn more on the Let’s Talk Science website.
Super Cells: The Power of Stem Cells
SCN and the Sherbrooke Nature and Science Museum have produced a travelling exhibit called Super Cells: The Power of Stem Cells. The exhibit invites kids to “become a scientist for the day” and enjoy its interactive installations as it teaches them about stem cells — their roles in our bodies and their therapeutic potential. The colourful installations stimulate children’s imaginations and make science education fun. More importantly, the exhibit inspires kids to get excited about biology and the future of medicine.
Super Cells: The Power of Stem Cells is an international initiative that was created in partnership with stem cell organizations in Europe, Asia and North America. The exhibit is travelling through Canada, the United States and Europe until 2019. Click here to learn more and see photos of the installations.
Super Cells: Power of Stem Cells