The successful k2i Academy is providing Black and Indigenous youth with real-life learning opportunities in STEM
The Lassonde School of Engineering’s Kindergarten to Industry (k2i) academy is creating equitable outcomes for underrepresented youth in STEM.
K2i has received $5 million in funding to-date from diverse partners, which range from government to the private sector. Included is two years of funding from the provincial government to develop WIL programs. This has enabled k2i to employ more than 400 high school students and over 130 undergraduate STEM mentors through the Bringing STEM to Life: Work-Integrated Learning program.
K2i also launched the Specialist High Skills Program – a microcredential program tailored for Black youth in Grades 7 to 12.
The academy merged Indigenous knowledge with traditional engineering when nine high school students in Blind River, a remote town in Northeastern Ontario, participated in the inaugural Indigenous Engineering & Innovation by Design program. During the program, the students at W.C. Eaket Secondary School utilized both Indigenous knowledge and traditional engineering processes on a variety of engineering projects to find solutions to their community’s challenges.
Since its inception in 2020, the k2i academy has offered over 175,000 hours of learning and has reached more than 6,000 youth.