Minister of Science and MP of London North visit Fanshawe

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: MELISSA NOVACASKA
The Minister of Science, the Honoruable Kirsty Duncan (middle), MP of London North, Peter Fragiskatos (left) and Fanshawe president Peter Devlin (right). While staying in London over a few days for the Liberal cabinet retreat, Duncan had the opportunity to learn more about ongoing innovations and research projects at Fanshawe College.

On the morning of Jan. 9, Minister of Science, the Honourable Kristy Duncan, and the MP of London North, Peter Fragiskatos, took a tour of the various skill trade and manufacturing labs on campus. The visit gave both Duncan and Fragiskatos the opportunity to examine current research projects and initiatives at the college, as well as interact with students and professors.

“What I really see is that students are being given the skills for today but for the jobs of the future. [This will] build better and stronger communities in Canada and around the world,” Duncan said.

Duncan explained that she arrived in London a few days prior to the cabinet retreat in order to check out all the incredible innovations from various science and educational facilities in London. Following their visit to Fanshawe, Duncan and Fragiskatos spent the afternoon visiting A.B. Lucas Secondary School to have a discussion with students regarding the importance of science. Subsequently, the two visited Western University to learn more about the ongoing innovations and recent developments in the neuroscience field that are happening on the campus.

The next morning, Duncan, Fragiskatos and the MP for London West, Kate Young, visited the Let’s Talk Science national headquarters to engage with the young students and help them learn about animal habitats. In the afternoon, Duncan and Young spoke to individuals at Saunders Secondary School who are interested in pursuing a career in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM).

Fragiskatos said that one of the highlights of his tour of the Fanshawe College campus was learning more about the ongoing innovations in 3D printing and robotics and how students are trained in these areas. ”I think 3D printing is crucial to the future. It has so much promise. I think we need a talented group of individuals to lead that [revolution] and Fanshawe is providing the resources for these young students,” Fragiskatos said.

Duncan said she enjoyed walking throughout the halls of the campus and seeing the students so passionate and excited about their work, “Every turn of the corner took us to something new, but what was constant [throughout the campus] was the buzz in the atmosphere. You can feel the excitement and for me, it’s the hope, this is our future and you feel it here.”

Fragiskatos explained that science and innovation play crucial roles in the future of our society, stating that innovation is linked to a strong economy. “We are finding a way to become an innovative country in Canada and our community colleges are instrumental in that,” Fragiskatos said.

Both Duncan and Fragiskatos attended the town hall meeting hosted at Western University on Jan. 11. At the meeting, Prime Minister Trudeau had the opportunity to speak to local Londoners to learn more about the concerns and questions regarding the present and future of the country.