Bonnie Schmidt, BSc’86, PhD’93, is inspiring innovation in Canada’s youth. As Founder and President of Let’s Talk Science, she is the catalyst who motivates millions of students to stay engaged in the sciences by connecting them with unique educational programs and scientific role models. And her passion for discovery was ignited at Western.
Bonnie Schmidt is the founder and President of Let’s Talk Science, an award-winning charitable organization that helps children and youth fulfill their potential and become productive citizens and innovators by supporting their learning and engagement through science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Ms. Schmidt started Let’s Talk Science in 1991 when she was a PhD student at Western University and began volunteering with local children after receiving requests for members of the scientific community to share their knowledge and enthusiasm for science. She encouraged her fellow graduate students to reach out to elementary and high schools as well.
Ms. Schmidt has been active in many national and provincial organizations and initiatives. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Ontario Genomics Institute, the Board of Governors of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) and on the advisory panel for Impakt: for social purpose. Bonnie was the founding co-chair of the Science & Technology Awareness Network (STAN). She has served on several federal granting review panels and on the 2010 Coalition for Action on Innovation in Canada led by Rx&D and the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. She was also a member of the expert panel that developed Ontario’s Early Learning Framework in 2006.
She has organized sessions on STEM learning and outreach at national and international academic conferences and has been an invited speaker at many events, including the National Space Science Summit, the Leader to Leader Program for 21st Century Skills, the Canadian Science Policy Conference and the OECD Conference on Global Science, “Declining Student Enrollment in Science & Technology.” She chaired the national panel that developed the Spotlight on Science Learning benchmarking report. Bonnie has also published several papers and reports.
For her efforts in education, Ms. Schmidt has received several awards, including the Top 25 Women of Influence; Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award; Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award; Canada’s Top 40 Under 40; Ontario’s “Leading Women, Building Communities”; YWCA’s Woman of Distinction and Western’s Young Alumni Award.
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