Canada’s national nuclear laboratory revitalizes school program to inspire the next generation of Canadian scientists and engineers 

Chalk River, April 30, 2019 – Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization, is pleased to announce that it has engaged hundreds of students across Ontario in the first year of its revitalized local school program, an initiative designed to enrich the curriculum for students in communities across the province. Through activities that include hosted day-long visits to the Chalk River Laboratories, guest speakers and presentations, virtual ‘webinars’, and support for community science fairs, CNL is working to bring science into the class room and encourage student interest in a range of career options in science and engineering.

“I can appreciate that science may not be everyone’s favourite subject,” commented Mark Lesinski, President & CEO. “But providing students with the opportunity to see ‘science in action’ – whether it’s tackling real-world challenges or making a meaningful discovery – can change a student’s perception and get them excited about the possibilities of a career in engineering and sciences.”

In 2018, CNL made a concerted effort to provide students with more opportunities to connect with the scientists and engineers at the laboratories. The reaction to the enhanced program has exceeded expectations, with secondary schools, colleges and universities quickly booking dates to visit the Chalk River campus.

“As Canada’s national nuclear laboratory, we recognize that we have a role to play in inspiring new scientists and enriching the learning opportunities already being provided in schools,” explained Pat Quinn, Director of Corporate Communications. “Over the past year, we hosted over 400 students at the Chalk River site from 23 schools between Ottawa and Sudbury. These visits provide students with a chance to learn more about the important work we do, about the work many of their parents and neighbours do, and how their education can prepare them to pursue a career in these scientific and technical fields. We encourage other schools to contact us to be a part of the program in 2019.”

In addition to site visits, CNL supports a number of other student science activities throughout the year. Annual events, such as Take Our Kids to Work Day, sees more than 75 students visit the Chalk River site for a full day. With the help of parent escorts, the students visit several laboratories and facilities, gaining insight into the various career paths available to them in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). These engagements are further supplemented by in class presentations on topics closely connected to the student’s curriculum or interests.  Volunteers from CNL also serve as judges in local science fairs, and help conduct national programs such as Science Odyssey, a week-long event held each May. Science Odyssey is known as Canada’s largest celebration of STEM. Last year, CNL was one of more than 500 science outreach partners who collectively delivered almost 1,100 events in over 300 cities and communities across Canada. A similar effort is underway for this year.

For the 2019 Science Odyssey, CNL is planning a number of activities and presentations to get students thinking about applications for energy, clean energy, and energy accessibility challenges. As a nuclear laboratory, CNL’s events will focus on small modular reactors (SMR), and the potential they hold as a clean energy option, particularly in Canada’s remote northern communities or mining sites.

There are still plenty of opportunities for schools to take part in CNL’s school program in 2019. For more information on the initiative, or to request a site visit for your classroom, please visit

About CNL 

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories is a world leader in nuclear science and technology offering unique capabilities and solutions across a wide range of industries. Actively involved with industry-driven research and development in nuclear, transportation, clean technology, energy, defence, security and life sciences, we provide solutions to keep these sectors competitive internationally.

With ongoing investments in new facilities and a focused mandate, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories is well positioned for the future. A new performance standard reinforced with a strong safety culture underscores every activity.

For more information on the complete range of services Canadian Nuclear Laboratories please visit or contact [email protected].


Patrick Quinn
Director, Corporate Communications
CNL, 1-866-886-2325