04 2016

The Learning Partnership Celebrates Champions of Public Education

April 4th 2016
Leaders of Siemens Canada and Google Canada honoured for their contributions to advancing education in Canada  

Toronto, ON – April 4, 2016 – The Learning Partnership will honour two prominent business leaders for their commitment to education at the 2016 Toronto Tribute Dinner on April 19, 2016. Robert Hardt, President and CEO, Siemens Canada, and Sam Sebastian, Managing Director, Google Canada, will be recognized for their championing of educational causes at the Metro Convention Centre beginning 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.  

Robert Hardt is passionate about fostering the engineering profession and skills education in Canada by building strong collaboration networks between industry and educational institutions. Mr. Hardt is an active member of The Learning Partnership’s corporate advisory board. Under his leadership, Siemens has launched a program that encourages technology education within the Halton District School Board and sponsored teams of high school students to compete in robotics competitions in Canada. He was a driving force behind the establishment of the Siemens Canada Engineering and Technology Academy (SCETA) in 2015, which includes a Dual Education work-integrated learning pilot program for students in their final two years of post-secondary education. SCETA has also implemented Mechatronics programs into the curriculums of Seneca College and Sheridan College, enabling students at these institutions to pursue an internationally recognized certification in this cutting-edge field. In the past two years alone, Siemens Canada made grants of software valued at more than $1 billion to schools in Canada, including Western University, McMaster University, and Sheridan College.   

Sam Sebastian leads an organization which has demonstrated its commitment to improving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education within Canada. Working with Canadian institutions of all sizes, Mr. Sebastian and the team at Google Canada provide digital solutions to help educational organizations engage students, encourage collaboration and inspire young thinkers. School boards within the Canadian education system have been early and passionate adopters of Google Apps for Education. Google Canada is also in the midst of rolling out the Google Pioneer Expeditions Program pilot project, a virtual reality platform that allows Canadian teachers to be among the first in the world to take their classes on immersive virtual journeys. Since 2010, Google has awarded more than $800K in grants to nonprofits and schools in Toronto through their local Community Grant and Google Research Awards Programs. In 2015, Google donated $1.5 million to ACTUA to deliver STEM and computer science camps and workshops to school-aged children across Canada.
“Advancing Canada’s publicly funded education system is a team effort. Collaboration among all sectors is critical to prepare today’s youth successfully for tomorrow’s workplace,” says Akela Peoples, President and CEO of The Learning Partnership. “Robert Hardt and Sam Sebastian are true examples of corporate leaders who believe passionately in the importance of publicly funded education and, through their personal and professional efforts, they contribute to ensuring our system is strong. Their outstanding contributions will help ensure that students are ready to embrace the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.”   

A Special Panel Presentation: What It Means to Live in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

As part of the Tribute celebration, there will be a special panel presentation about innovation, disruption, and how to prepare today’s students to face the challenges of tomorrow’s workplace. The panel will feature this year’s honourees and will be moderated by John Stackhouse, SVP, Office of the CEO, RBC, and 2014 Champion of Public Education. The honourees will be joined by Michael Serbinis, co-founder of Kobo Inc. and founder and CEO of LEAGUE Inc.   

GTA’s Brightest Students Showcase Their Innovations  

During the reception, student participants from The Learning Partnership’s programs will present their innovative projects to attendees. Participants from Investigate! Invent! Innovate! have invented solutions to everyday problems. Students in the Entrepreneurial Adventure program have worked with business mentors in the classroom to develop ventures to raise money for non-profit organizations. Dragons’ Nest participants create and launch ventures in the classroom, and will be demonstrating their pitches at the Innovation Showcase.   

About the Learning Partnership  

The Learning Partnership is a national charity dedicated to building stakeholder partnerships to support, promote and advance publicly funded education in Canada. We do this through five key deliverables – innovative student programs, executive leadership for educators, knowledge mobilization and policy, tribute celebrations of excellence and ongoing collaborations across Canada. Since 1993, more than 6.1 million students have participated in The Learning Partnership’s programs.    
For more information, please contact: 

Fahad Pinto
Media and Communications Specialist, The Learning Partnership