Langara College has been awarded grants totalling $440K from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), under the College and Community Innovation Program and the College and Community Social Innovation Fund in support of two exciting projects.
One of the projects aims to bridge the gap for Indigenous learners. Rick Ouellet, Director of Aboriginal Education and Services, was awarded $240,000 to develop a custom curriculum for Indigenous students who currently do not qualify for post-secondary education in BC. Tailored curriculum in the areas of English and math will be designed and taught to two cohorts over the next two years. The cohorts will be off campus, first on reserve at Musqueam and then at the Urban Native Youth Association (UNYA) in East Vancouver. The goal is to create momentum in upgrading Indigenous learners in support of enhanced post-secondary attainment.
“The key component of this project is the partnership with Musqueam and UNYA,” says Ouellet. “We will be working closely with them to identify the best way to upgrade students who seek a positive educational experience.”
The second project is focused on designing bioinformatics and biochemistry tools that support the craft brewing industry in BC. Langara’s biology instructor Ji Yang and chemistry instructor Kelly Sveinson will lead a team of science students to collaborate with local breweries, including Parallel 49 Brewing, to develop tools for detecting beer spoilage and yeast degradation. A component of the project also involves analyzing the lineage of wild BC hops to support novel product development, a collaboration with HOOH Organic Hop Company.
“These funds allow us to deliver advanced training to our students, as well as provide technology and access to the skills of our faculty, to an industry that is of growing importance to the economy of our region,” says Sveinson. “It’s a pleasure to show our students how their college education can be applied to real challenges.”
These projects provide opportunities for students to collaborate with researchers, industry partners, and the community. The grants were facilitated by the Langara College Applied Research Centre.
To learn more about NSERC and the College and Community Innovation Program check out the funding announcement on the Langara website.