University of Calgary

The University of Calgary and the Imperial Oil Foundation partner to enhance science and technology education

$2.5 million donated from Imperial Oil Foundation to develop innovative science, technology, engineering and math initiatives

Nov. 6, 2012

The University of Calgary’s Faculty of Education and the Imperial Oil Foundation today announced a joint commitment to develop and implement high-impact educational experiences for young people who will become the scientists and engineers of the future. The Imperial Oil Foundation is contributing $2.5 million over five years to support research and development of programs that will enhance the learning and teaching of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in early school years.

“In education systems today, there is an emphasis on clear and deliberate collaboration among fields and faculties. Nowhere is this more evident than in the areas of STEM subjects,” said Dennis Sumara, dean of the Faculty of Education. “Critical elements for success include starting early with students, interactive learning activities and the opportunity to be taught by good teachers. Our challenge is to educate and empower teachers, and to provide them with the knowledge and skills to create rich learning experiences for students.”

“Our goal is to spark the imagination and interest of young people in STEM subjects,” said Bruce March, Chairman and CEO of Imperial Oil. “By engaging a new generation of students in the pursuit of technical careers, we are investing in Canada’s future.”

The first phase of the Imperial Oil STEM Education Initiative (IOSTEM) includes establishing a research chair in science education at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Education and the development of innovative research STEM projects and programming for K to12 schools. A key initiative will be an annual week-long summer academy. Commencing in July 2013, the academy will focus STEM learning through hands-on spatial learning techniques. The academy of up to 50 participants will comprise students, researchers, teachers and engineers.

About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is a leading Canadian university located in the nation’s most enterprising city. The university has a clear strategic direction – “Eyes High” – to become one of Canada’s top five research universities by 2016, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community of Calgary. For more information, visit

About Imperial Oil

Imperial Oil is one of Canada's largest corporations and a leading member of the country's petroleum industry. The company is a major producer of crude oil and natural gas, Canada's largest petroleum refiner, a key petrochemical producer and a leading marketer with coast-to-coast supply and retail service station networks.