Destination Exploration celebrating 20 years of STEM outreach activities with community open house

Started as a one-week science camp and a handful of school workshops in 2002, Destination Exploration (DE) has blossomed into the flagship STEM youth outreach program in southern Alberta. On Saturday, May 14, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the University of Lethbridge Science Commons Atrium, DE will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a family-friendly open house.

Operating under the University’s Faculty of Arts & Science, DE provides hands-on, engaging science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs for youth and their families. For Valerie Archibald, director of youth outreach at ULethbridge, the goal of DE has always been focused on unlocking the incredible potential of all participants.

Two boys working with electronics
Destination Exploration has been igniting curiosity in youth for 20 years.

“All our programming, all our experiences are designed to provide youth and their families with opportunities to engage with STEM in a way that creates a self-awareness of their abilities in these fields. Science, technology, math and engineering are accessible to everyone, and they can be fun,” she says. “By getting youth excited about STEM and bringing the whole family into this journey of exploring, we hope to set the basis for lifelong learning.”

Over the last 20 years, DE has grown immeasurably by forging key partnerships within the southern Alberta community and beyond. In 2010, DE and Let’s Talk Science formed a relationship that now delivers kindergarten to Grade 12 STEM programming throughout the region. Also in 2010, DE became a part of the Actua network, a national organization devoted to unlocking the potential of youth through STEM.

As well, DE has been buoyed by relationships with the Lethbridge Public Library, which has created collaborative clubs like Mini Tech-Heads and been the downtown pick-up spot for STEM bags, thereby expanding DE’s reach to Lethbridge families, and industry supporter Pratt & Whitney Canada, with which they have received generous funding and partnered to offer Family STEM Nights.

“The support we have received from our partners has really allowed us to reach many more youth and families in southern Alberta in new and innovative ways,” adds Archibald.

Saturday’s event will showcase everything that makes DE great, including games, robots and science experiments. People will get the chance to meet their summer staff and take a look at the many summer camp offerings and you might even get an opportunity to do some Sphero Bowling. Free parking is available in Lots S or N, adjacent to Science Commons.

Visit 20 Years of DE Celebration! For more information.