We will create a national network of out-of-school-time (OST) programs that support and prepare Black, Indigenous and LatinX elementary and secondary level students for pathways into postsecondary science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs and professions. This will be done through exchange of expertise, materials, training and personnel. Black, Indigenous and LatinX STEM outreach programs across Canada face a shortage of qualified scientists and staff that represent these communities; our project will alleviate this shortage by providing intensive training and materials to staff at outreach sites across Canada.

Our project has been designed by a consortium of experts in outreach programming at:

Dalhousie University, Halifax

Dr. Pemberton Cyrus, Industrial Engineering Professor, President of Imhotep’s Legacy Academy

McMaster University, Hamilton

Dr. Juliet Daniel, Biology Professor and Associate Dean Research & External Relations, and co-lead of Mac-ISTEP STEM outreach for Black youth

University of Calgary, Calgary

Dr. Jennifer Adams, Canada Research Chair in Creativity and STEM

Ethós Labs, Vancouver

Anthonia Ogundele, Director of Ethós Labs

Our designs are based on the 21-year experience of Imhotep’s Legacy Academy in delivering successful STEM programs for Black secondary students in Nova Scotia. ILA's programs have contributed to significant enrollment increases in STEM programs at Dalhousie University over the 2010-2020 period. Program development and revision will be done by Black, Indigenous and LatinX senior university students or recent graduates, under the supervision of Black, Indigenous and LatinX university professors. 

Empowering Diversity, Inspiring Futures in STEM.


Imhotep’s Legacy Academy

Dalhousie University, Halifax


(McMaster Black Youth IMHOTEP STEM Enrichment Program)

McMaster University, Hamilton

BrainSTEM Alliance

University of Calgary, Calgary

Ethós Labs



One-off hands-on STEM presentations at schools, which will be used to recruit Black, Indigenous and LatinX students to our weekly and summer programs. The presentations have two objectives:

  • To provide a multi-ethnic group of students with the experience of learning from a Black, Indigenous and LatinX scientist or engineer, thereby promoting the idea that everyone can achieve in STEM regardless of race or ethnicity. This makes the pathway for Black, Indigenous and LatinX students easier by reducing stereotypes.
  • To provide a means of recruiting Black, Indigenous and LatinX students to the weekly programs and summer camps.
  • To arrange for a presentation at your school, please fill in the contact form below, and include contact information for you and your school.

Weekly out-of-school-time hands-on STEM programs at schools, community centers and online. These are designed to engage students in STEM continuously over the school year, and across years from grades 6 to 9.

Specialized two-week summer camps will be held to attract grade 10 & 11 students in areas that are experiencing the lowest uptake of Black, Indigenous and LatinX students: physics and engineering.

A national conference to share the experience of all the sites and disseminate the best practices to others who may wish to create similar programs.

Hands-On, Minds-On

BESTSTEM Activities Ignite a Passion for STEM Excellence!


Urgent Need for Equity in Canadian Education

Black, Indigenous and Latinx students have statistically been participating in STEM education at a lower rate than the Canadian population. A recent study by Dr. Carl James, Professor at York University and Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community & Diaspora, has shown that, for example, third generation Black immigrants perform significantly worse than the first or second generations.

In a presentation at the iBET Conference in November 2023, D’Andre Wilson-Ihejirika shows that the largest percentage of Black graduates from Canadian engineering programs are international students. The numbers taper off as the generation status increases and none of the graduates are 3rd generation Canadian. This implies that we are not doing enough to encourage Black students born and raised in Canada to pursue engineering.

In reference to graduation timelines, a 2021 report from the Peel District School Board showed that Latinx and Latin American students, as well as Black and Indigenous students, were two to five times less likely to graduate within five years, when compared with the average Peel student.

Fostering Inclusive Education

In a 2022 report, Dr Shanti Morell-Hart proposes that more needs to be done to highlight Latin America in university teaching.

Multiple reports speak to the need to support Indigenous students in their post-secondary studies.

Fighting Racism: 
Culturally Enriched STEM Programs

The project is expected to redress the effects of racism by immersing students in culturally rich STEM programming. A successful project will encourage other organizations to replicate the ILA program model at sites across Canada, multiplying the positive effects of our programs, and increasing the number of Indigenous, Black and LatinX Canadian students in STEM (especially those born and educated in Canada).


Imhotep’s Legacy Academy receives federal funding for STEM project

The Government of Canada has announced nearly $1.1 million in funding for three Black-led and Black-focused organizations in Nova Scotia, including Imhotep’s Legacy Academy (ILA) at Dalhousie University. The ILA will receive a substantial funding injection of $829,570 over three years. The academy will use the funding to support its project, Canada-Wide Out of School Time Experiential STEM Activities for Underrepresented Youth, which aims to establish a national network of extracurricular programs for Black, Indigenous or Latin youth that focuses on STEM, confidence building and personal development. This investment is part of the government’s efforts to combat anti-Black racism and discrimination, promote equality and empower Black Canadians.

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Building Excellence in Students for Today and Tomorrow in STEM