PromoScience funding supports greater reach for Destination Exploration Travelling Lab Coats program

Even more young minds will soon be ignited by the wonders of science thanks to a three-year investment from the federal government in the University of Lethbridge’s Destination Exploration Travelling Lab Coats (TLC) program.

The government’s Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s (NSERC) PromoScience funding for 2017-2020 was announced today with Destination Exploration awarded $54,000 over the next three years to augment its already robust TLC program. In total, $11.9 million in funding was awarded for 163 grants across the country.

“Our government understands the importance of fostering a culture of curiosity and a passion for science among our kids and youth,” says The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport. “PromoScience funding will help inspire young Canadians to make science part of not only their education, but their careers and their lives. When we support young Canadians, as these grants will do, we teach them that they can achieve their greatest dreams.”

Valerie Archibald, the U of L’s director of Youth Outreach, says the funding will allow the TLC program to expand its reach as it strives to bring science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programing to a broader group of kindergarten to Grade 8 level students.

“Annually, we have been able to reach between 700 to 800 students, and with this funding we are trying to double that reach and specifically, bring more rural students into the program,” she says.

STEM programming consists of in-class workshops from a team of University undergraduate students, designed to spur interest in the sciences through interactive activities. The workshops are tied to the teaching curriculum for Alberta students and often involve equipment and activities otherwise unavailable to schools.

“Our whole goal is to show STEM in a new and fun way that gets students engaged and inspires them to want to continue to learn more,” says Archibald.

NSERC's PromoScience Program offers financial support for organizations working with young Canadians to promote an understanding of science and engineering, including mathematics and technology. PromoScience supports hands-on learning experiences for young students and their teachers.

The TLC program runs in May and June each year, while Destination Exploration also offers a variety of science clubs, summer camps, PD camps and birthday parties. For more information, visit their web page at