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SIAST, ICTC, and Prairie South Schools run three-day App Development boot camp

Industry and education collaborate to help Saskatchewan youth gain essential tech skills

Saskatchewan/Moose Jaw | 8 May 2014

Prairie South Schools and industry leaders have joined forces to create an interactive three-day boot camp designed to introduce students to advance technologies and mobile application (App) development. Starting today, the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science & Technology (SIAST) will open its doors to 48 high school students from across the Prairie South region. Students from grades nine through twelve will participate in hands-on workshops that explore the principles of mobile app development, game design, and IT career options.

“Exposure to real-world career pathways at the high school level is rare,” said Lonny Holmes, coordinator for Prairie South School’s Practical and Applied Arts project. “This innovative look into the world of App development, combined with a little gaming, is a formula for learning.”

“This event provides a great opportunity for our students to learn both hard skills using the state of the art technology and soft skills in terms of working with people in a real-world context,” said Barbara Compton, superintendent for Prairie South School’s Practical and Applied Arts. “This partnership exemplifies the new 3 “R’s”: rigor, relevance and relationships.”

Collaborating industry supporters that made this event possible include SaskTel, SIAST, SaskEnergy, Solvera and the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC). All partners saw value in creating an opportunity for students to explore the relevance of information technologies in their education and future careers.

“ICTC is delighted to support Prairie South School Board and their ongoing commitment to youth and ICT in education,” stated Sandra Saric, VP, talent innovation at ICTC. “This event showcases the power of aligning industry with education and the significance of 21st century skills amongst our Canadian youth. We hope this event inspires nationwide dialogue to increase opportunities for our youth in the digital economy.”

The event coincides with Prairie South Schools’ four year commitment to enhancing Practical and Applied Arts opportunities that align with Labor Market Demands. Their recent adoption of ICTC’s Focus on Information Technology (FIT) program, which pathways students through relevant-ICT competencies, highlights their ongoing to pledge to provide students with forward-thinking curriculum. All workshops and learning throughout the event will complement the FIT program’s learning outcomes and their industry-approved competencies.

“SIAST is pleased to partner with the Prairie South School Division and the Information and Communications Technology Council to help provide real-world skills in information technology to high schools students,” said Dan MacKay SIAST dean of business. “The Focus on Information Technology certification is a perfect fit for SIAST’s mandate as a polytechnic to provide students with applied learning opportunities that gets them interested in information technology and ready to enter the workforce.”

"As Saskatchewan's leading information and communications technology provider, SaskTel is thrilled to be part of this initiative,” said Donna King, senior director, IS strategy & planning, information systems division at SaskTel. “SaskTel has a proven track record of being first at introducing many new communication and information technologies. One of our goals is to corporately support initiatives that help to promote information technology careers in the province, this ground-breaking event will enable Prairie South School Division students to better understand the excellent opportunities that exist in IT."

For more information, contact:

Lonny Holmes
Coordinator, Practical and Applied Arts Project
Prairie South School’s | 306-630-6862 cell

Emily Jamieson
Digital Communications and Youth Initiatives Specialist
Information and Communications Technology Council | 613-237-8551 x122

Adam Lehmann
Communications and Marketing Consultant
Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology
bus 306-691-8513 | cell 306-630-9968

Donna King
Senior Director, IS Strategy & Planning
SaskTel | 306-777-3215

About ICTC:

ICTC is a centre of expertise in digital economy research, labour market intelligence, policy development, program management and delivery. Through our strong network of industry, academia and government, we enable the progress of Canada’s future economies by empowering industries to maintain a competitive advantage in a global market through a highly-skilled and innovative workforce. Please visit:

ICTC’s Focus on Information Technology program is funded by the Government of Canada’s sector council program Canada