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Queen's University Faculty of Engineering & Applied Science

Getting ready for Back to School

With many long summer days behind us, many households are turning attention back to school.  Whether you are sending a little one off for their first steps into formal education, or you're starting a graduate program in engineering, back-to-school is an exciting time indeed!  Here at Queen's, we look forward to Early Move-In day with Aboriginal students and their families on August 31, and welcoming the class of 2017 to campus. It is a time for renewal and taking on new things - if you're an educator, you can try new ways to integrate science and engineering with culture in your classroom. We're here to help with that!  If you know of any Aboriginal youth interested in engineering as a career option, or are simply wanting to learn more about the exciting opportunities associated with this profession, please contact us for additional information about our program. Education is a journey of a lifetime, and we aim to help support that journey.  Please follow us on facebook and twitter for regular updates in Aboriginal STEM initiatives.

What Engineers Do

Aboriginal language versions now available!
Over the past month, our outreach staff has been distributing the latest publications available through Aboriginal Access to Engineering to interested youth and their families.  Did you know that these publications could also be ordered?  They are available free of charge to educational partners such as schools, friendship centres and community not-for-profit organizations. Companies and other entities may also order them on a nominal cost-recovery basis.  Currently we have available the primary activity book What Engineers Do  (ages 10 and under) in four formats: Revised English, French, Mohawk and Oji-Cree!  The revised English version features lots of ideas for parents and teachers to use with their budding engineers, and the French, Mohawk and Oji-Cree versions are perfect for use in language immersion settings. To order, please contact our office, and stay tuned for a whole new series of booklets aimed at the junior-intermediate grades (ages 8-14), set to debut this fall!

For Parents and Teachers

Aboriginal Education

While many in the general public would think of Aboriginal education as something strictly the domain of the federal government and on-reserve schools, the reality is that a vast majority of Aboriginal youth in Canada attend non-Aboriginal public schools, both close to their communities but also in urban centres.  School boards throughout Ontario have varying levels of support for teachers with regards to Aboriginal education, but are a good place to start when looking for information on Aboriginal education in the context of your particular school board.  This article features the work of one such Aboriginal resource teacher, with the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board, and her efforts to ensure that all teachers and students participate in Aboriginal Education.  OCT also addressed this issue in their feature article, The New Face of Aboriginal Education, featuring the efforts of the Rainbow District School Board in Sudbury.


As a parent or guardian family member involved in the lives of youth, back to school marks an important time of transition.  The Ontario Native Education Counsellors' Association Transitions team has prepared some timely tips for assisting your student through life-marking transitions.  From pre-school to elementary, high school to post-secondary, here are some ways to help support your loved one's journey.

On Campus Events

Four Directions welcomes all to their cultural and social programming events.  Most events are free.  For more information contact Vanessa McCourt 613-533-6823
Four Directions Aboriginal Centre

Congratulations to Dr. Mark Green

Queen's researcher awarded $1.6m from NSERC Professor of civil engineering at Queen's University, Dr. Mark Green, has been awarded funding through NSERC for the Sustainable Engineering in Remote Areas project.  Dr. Green's 6-year project will be addressing sustainability in the Far North, including in Aboriginal communities.

Role Models in Engineering

We have many new faces to introduce to you over the coming months, but can always use more!  If you know of any First Nations, Métis or Inuit engineers who could be featured on our website to inspire future generations, please let us know.  Engineering is a diverse and exciting field of work.  Come and meet Aboriginal people from across Turtle Island who have made it their choice, and read about the journeys that brought them to their current work.
Read more here...

Students' Section

Discover Engineering
Wondering what is this thing we call "engineering"?  Check out the amazing videos that Discover Engineering has put together.   From the biomechanics of skateboarding to roller coaster design, cleaning up some dirty bug-filled water and then drinking it....these videos will give you an understanding of the type of things engineers do in their work.

10 Tips for Engineering Students
Whether you are just about to start your engineering education, or are looking forward to the next year in your journey, it helps to keep some things in mind.  Like the idea of having a personal Board of Directors...involving people in your education to help you make choices that are best for you.  Remember that Aboriginal student services are available at most campuses across Canada, as are specialized student services developed by Faculties of Engineering.  Take advantage of student support services to be the best you can be!

Upcoming Conferences

Power of Water Canada
Ontario Waterpower Association
October 20-22, 2013
Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

Soaring Career Conference

November 6, 2013
Edmonton, AB

Diversity: vive la différence!
Ontario School Counsellors' Association

Keynote speaker Susan Aglukark
November 10-12, 2013
Toronto, ON

Igniting Curiosity
Science Teachers Association of Ontario

November 14-16, 2013
Toronto, ON
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