Science and technology touch every aspect of our lives yet rarely do we reflect on what has nurtured the "inventive spirit" in our communities. Inventors remain shadowy figures and, unfortunately, many Canadians believe that innovation is something that happens elsewhere.
In 2003, Adriana A. Davies, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief, Alberta Online Encyclopedia - www.albertasource.ca - and former Editor of Science and Technology, The Canadian Encyclopedia, committed the Heritage Community Foundation to addressing the major gap in Albertans' knowledge about science, technology and innovation for the continued economic well being and growth of the Province of Alberta. Dr. Davies conceptualized the development of a major website titled The Alberta Inventors and Inventions: A Century of Alberta Patents and Innovations Website Project. Funding support was obtained through Alberta Innovation and Science and the Canada's Digital Collections Program, a youth internship program. The website was launched in 2003 and a second phase was completed in 2004.
With funding support from the TELUS Edmonton Community Board, Government of Canada internships and its own resources, the Heritage Community Foundation, in 2008, created the Alberta Inventors and Inventions Edukit. The website drew on content and multimedia elements from the large Inventors and Inventions Website to create a customized teacher and student resource with a fit with the Alberta curriculum K-12 but also science and technology courses at the secondary and post-secondary levels
This Edukit website makes Alberta's rich heritage of innovation in science and technology come alive for teachers, students, home schoolers, and life-long learners in Alberta, Canada and the world via the Internet. The website is freely accessible to all Albertans, Canadians and users of the World Wide Web and is a dynamic part of www.albertasource.ca - the Alberta Online Encyclopedia - developed and maintained by the Heritage Community Foundation. The Encyclopedia was the intellectual legacy project for Alberta's centenary in 2005. In 2007, Albertasource.ca received over 1.6 million unique visitors and over 3.8 million website visits of up to 30 minutes duration. The Alberta's Real Estate Heritage website is the first in a series of websites that present Alberta industries and the professionals associated with them.
Heritage Community Foundation
The Heritage Community Foundation is a charitable Trust (Charitable Number: 87082 2541 RR0001) committed to connecting people with heritage. As a new kind of community foundation, it is not bounded by geography but based on interest in the value of heritage for individuals, their communities and society.
The Foundation has received recognition for its state-of-the-art programs involving new technology and experiential learning. Working collaboratively with public and private-sector partners, the Foundation seeks support not only for its own flagship programs but also for those of partners and stakeholders at the local, regional, provincial and national levels.
The Foundation's goal is for heritage to be valued by everyone. Heritage is broadly defined in all its aspects-historical, natural, cultural, scientific and technological. The Foundation exists:
- To be a strong public voice for heritage
- To build individual and community identity and pride through research, public education and youth programs
- To build resources to sustain heritage institutions, organizations and related projects and activities.
The Heritage Community Foundation has the following primary areas of interest based on its charitable objects: Educational Resource Creation, Research, Digital Technology and Experiential Learning. All programs link people with place, stories, objects, landscapes, traditions-all of those aspects that define us as individuals and communities.
The TELUS Edmonton Community Board
The TELUS Edmonton Community Board has been funding innovative youth and/or technology programs in Edmonton since March 2005. Dr. Robert Westbury, Executive Chairman, and the board distribute over half a million dollars annually to projects with a focus in the arts and culture, education and sport, or health and well-being. Most recently the Edmonton board has funded programs such as the Online Opera Education Program, University of Alberta's Aboriginal Teacher Education and Technology Program, and the Clean Scene Peer Club. Without the assistance of the Edmonton TELUS Community Board, the Alberta Inventors and Inventions Edukit project would not have been possible.
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