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Posted June 30, 2011

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Education

Conestoga to Participate in Global Program to Improve Education

Kitchener - Students in the Business Foundations and General Business programs at Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning will soon have access to new tools that will connect them to their colleagues around the world as they build essential skills for business success.

Conestoga is the first college in Canada to be chosen as a participant in the HP Catalyst Initiative, a global social innovation program designed to build more effective approaches to science, technology, engineering and math education. The network of education institutions involved in the program, more than 55 schools in 15 countries, will use an interdisciplinary approach and emphasize creativity, collaboration and cross-cultural expertise to transform STEM teaching and learning, and to inspire students to use their technical and creative ingenuity to help address immediate social challenges.

“We are delighted to have this opportunity to participate in the HP Catalyst Initiative,” said Frank Mensink, dean of Conestoga’s School of Business & Hospitality. “Our students are being given the resources to come up with new ideas, collaborate globally and challenge traditional ways of thinking and learning.”

Through the initiative, Conestoga will receive a grant of HP technology, financial contributions and professional support valued at more than $150,000, and will join the HP Catalyst STEM-preneur Consortium, which focuses on novel ways to combine STEM education with the skills and passion of entrepreneurship.

The first phase of the project includes the development of a Business Math Lab, where students will use HP Tablet computers to build their mathematics skills and connect with other business students around the world. According to faculty member Lisa Koster, the lab “will provide students with a new way to engage in their learning and relate their learning experience to real-world business applications.”

Further plans include the use of online learning tools, e-texts, videos, an online learning community and collaboration software, as well as hands-on workshops and tutorials. It is expected that as many as 250 students will be involved in the project over the next year. www.conestogac.on.ca

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