FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government is providing Brilliant Labs with $500,000 in grant funding to develop and promote innovation capacity in schools.

“Your government's multi-year economic growth plan includes investing in education to strengthen literacy rates, to put trades back in our schools, and introduce our young learners to coding,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Brian Kenny.

Currently, there are makerspaces in about 75 schools across the province. This funding will allow more makerspaces to be created. In addition, teachers are coached on how to engage in project-based learning, which promotes creativity, an entrepreneurial mindset, computational thinking, digital competencies and scientific inquiry.

The goal of a makerspace is to make learning more interesting, fun and relevant for young people by using tools, materials and technologies in new and different ways to solve everyday challenges and reinforce curricular outcomes.

“It is crucial that we invest time, energy, and resources in our New Brunswick youth, our future leaders,” said Jeff Willson, executive director of Brilliant Labs. “This funding will be used to inspire students and teachers to develop their creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit through innovation, coding, and real-world problem solving.”

Brilliant Labs is a not-for-profit, hands-on technology and experiential learning platform that supports the integration of creativity, innovation, coding, and an entrepreneurial spirit within classrooms and educational curriculums.

Improved learning in technology and coding are elements of the government’s 10-year education plans, which aim to improve educational outcomes and better prepare young people for the future. The plans set objectives in priority areas to create lifelong learners, support educational leaders and bring stability to the system.

As well, growing innovators is a pillar of the government’s multi-year innovation agenda, a strategy to foster innovation and boost research and development in the province. The government will invest more than $53.5 million in 2018-19 to support innovation by growing innovators, boosting research and development, supporting the growth of entrepreneurs, fostering innovation spaces, leading the cybersecurity agenda and being innovative in the way the government conducts business.

More information on Brilliant Labs programs is available online.