Student Engagement

In collaboration with educators, researchers and graduate-level trainees, the Stem Cell Network has directly engaged thousands of high school students across the country to enhance their learning about various aspects of stem cell research.

story_studentEngagement-1Although stem cells were first identified by Canadian scientists Jim Till and Ernest McCulloch over 50 years ago, the field remains a dynamic and rapidly-advancing one—a reality that makes science education challenging, particularly in high school biology classes. To engage students and empower teachers about this exciting field, the Stem Cell Network mobilized its leading researchers and graduate-level trainees for several varied outreach initiatives.

Early in its mandate, the Network created a highly successful five-day teaching module called ENGAGE: Stem Cells, which focused on basic information about scientific and policy issues in the field. Several years later, SCN supported a group of trainees to organize and launch StemCellTalks, an education series that consisted of in-class presentations by graduate-level trainees and a full-day symposium featuring some of Canada’s top scientists. These initiatives were complemented by others, including the development of the Stem Cell School learning portal as well as materials and resources for the CurioCity website hosted by Let’s Talk Science.

In recognition of its “extraordinary commitment to public education,” the Stem Cell Network was honoured with the Genetics Policy Institute’s 2010 Stem Cell Action Award for Education at that year’s World Stem Cell Summit.


  • 17 StemCellTalks symposia held, Jan. 2011-Nov. 2014
  • 1,600 students reached at StemCellTalks symposia that took place in five cities across Canada from Jan. 2011 to Nov. 2014

  • 4,300 copies of the ENGAGE: Stem Cells teaching module were distributed to Canadian schools.

Related Content

  • 2003-04 Annual Report
  • 2009-10 Annual Report, p. 7
  • 2009-10 Annual Report, p. 14
  • 2010-11 Annual Report, p. 23
  • 2011-12 Annual Report, p. 18