Lakehead University’s Superior Science receiving $60k for coding program

Photo of a Superior Science camper using a Makey Makey external circuit board connected to a laptop.

A Superior Science camper uses a Makey Makey external circuit board connected to a laptop.

August 16, 2019 – Thunder Bay, Ont.

Lakehead University’s Superior Science is receiving $60,000 from Actua to continue developing and enhancing the CanCode program, which teaches young people about coding.

With the initial round of CanCode funding from 2017, Superior Science purchased various new pieces of technology including 3D printers, Ozobots (coding robots), and Makey Makeys (external circuitry boards).

With this new equipment, Superior Science was able to offer more coding initiatives to provide youth with access to technology-based education.

“We also were able to do more outreach to schools both locally and in remote communities in Northwestern Ontario where youth would otherwise not have access to this technology,” said Ashley Andrea, Superior Science Director.

Superior Science also ran its first ever Code Club last year, which was a huge success. Children were able to come to Lakehead University on Saturdays throughout the school year to learn how to code and use the equipment to see how it applies to their daily lives.

“We are so excited that the CanCode initiative was renewed again this year and we can’t wait to develop and enhance our program even more,” Andrea said.

“With this new round of CanCode funding, we are happy that – due to the success of our first Code Club – we will be running the same program again this year at no charge,” said Michael Coccimiglio, Superior Science Director.

Superior Science also plans to continue expanding the scope of technology they offer campers as they move forward with new equipment and applications surrounding science and engineering. Finally, Superior Science is also hoping to do more outreach than ever before to both local schools and northern communities and reserves.

“Superior Science is excited to have a share of this CanCode funding to support activities that introduce children to coding,” said Dr. Mary Louise Hill, a Geology professor at Lakehead University who is Superior Science’s faculty advisor.

“Our first camp was in the summer of 1999, and this is our 20th anniversary of getting kids excited about STEM on Lakehead's campus.”

Actua is a national charity that is preparing youth to be innovators and leaders by engaging them in exciting and accessible STEM experiences that build critical skills and confidence.


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Lakehead University has approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and 2,000 faculty and staff in 10 faculties at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead is a fully comprehensive university: home to Ontario’s newest Faculty of Law in 44 years, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and faculties of Engineering, Business Administration, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Social Sciences & Humanities, Science & Environmental Studies, Natural Resources Management, Education, and Graduate Studies. Maclean’s 2019 University Rankings place Lakehead University among Canada's Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities and in 2018 Research Infosource named Lakehead Research University of the Year in its category for the fourth consecutive year. Visit

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