Ontario’s New UniverSTEM Center of Excellence Unveiled at École Marie-Rivier Catholic High School

Published on: 2019/01/29 - in Releases

RELEASE — More than sixty people took part today in the official unveiling of the new and innovative Ontario Center of Excellence UniverSTEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) educational project to be implemented at the Catholic high school École Marie-Rivier in Kingston at the beginning of the 2019 school year.

The UniverSTEM vocation represents a renewed and dynamic vision of education, focusing on the integration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics into everyday learning situations as well as the educational pursuits of students. Furthermore, the relevance of this pedagogical approach has been demonstrated around the world, while the STEM vocation which emerged in the United States was then developed in schools in Australia, China, the United Kingdom and South Korea.

This new approach will allow students at École Marie-Rivier to have an experiential learning experience by applying STEM disciplines to other subjects taught. In addition to preparing students for the future, where most jobs do not yet exist, students will be engaged in an experiential and stimulating world through this new pedagogy where they will be asked to express their creativity and ingenuity.

‘’The UniverSTEM vocation is based on a common commitment by all staff members to a proven pedagogical approach that puts the student at the center of his/her learning and allows students to take an active part in their education. Furthermore, this genuine environment will lead to the creation of several very interesting partnerships for the school community,’’ says Johanne Lacombe, Chairperson of the School Board.

In fact, the École Marie-Rivier Catholic High School took advantage of the unveiling of its UniverSTEM Center of Excellence to announce the creation of new programs with unique sporting and cultural organizations in Kingston.

CECCE leaders and partners for UniverSTEM, the Excellence Centre of Ontario


Canada Science and Technology Museum (CSTM)

As a first step, the partnership will allow the École Marie-Rivier Catholic High School to offer summer camps to all Kingston youth inspired by the UniverSTEM vocation starting in summer 2019 for elementary and high school students. These summer camps will be offered in collaboration between the CECCE and CSTM.

In a second phase, the CSTM will share its STEM expertise with the staff and students of the École Marie-Rivier, with the aim of enriching the new UniverSTEM educational project.

“The Canada Science and Technology Museum is delighted to partner with the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est for summer camp programming at École Marie-Rivier Catholic High School, as well as to support their commitment to offer activities in French for young people in Kingston. We are looking forward to seeing young scientists and engineers from Kingston participate in our fun and educational activities on the subject of robotics,” says CSTM’s programming team.

University of Ottawa

The École Marie-Rivier Catholic High School is currently developing a partnership with the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Ottawa (OU) initially to share expertise, then to allow students access to the spaces of the STEM complex at OU, but also to prepare students who would like to pursue a STEM vocation at the post-secondary level.

“In the 21st century, all students, regardless of their future careers, will face complex problems that require technology, science, engineering and mathematics to develop effective solutions. We are pleased to see a center such as the UniverSTEM materialize so that young francophones of all ages can understand and incorporate STEM into their daily lives, and to become the innovators of tomorrow,” says Frank Bouchard of the University of Ottawa.



  • The Centre culturel Frontenac will support the École Marie-Rivier in the deployment of its Arts and culture MHS.
  • Creation of a new radio animation program in partnership with Radio Jeunesse.

Radiojeunesse.ca is very proud to collaborate with the implementation of the new radio Initiation Program of the École Marie-Rivier Catholic High School Marie-Rivier. It is with immense pleasure that we will develop a playful and educational radio project by, and for, young people. This radio project will reach the youth and community of Kingston.  Radio at school for the pleasure of being heard,’’ states Nathalie Bernard, Director – Radio Jeunesse.


The École Marie-Rivier Catholic High School is establishing an Academy of hockey skills. An agreement is currently being developed with the Kingston Frontenacs and details will be revealed by the end of the school year. The École Marie-Rivier is also involved in the selection process with Hockey Canada for possible certification.


The École Marie-Rivier is working closely with collège La Cité as part of its health and wellness MHS, which will henceforth be inspired by the STEM vocation.


The École Marie-Rivier will make the exploration of various technologies possible. As part of this technology component, the ‘’manufacturing’’ field will also be explored. A partnership will be announced shortly.

‘’The UniverSTEM educational project, along with all the opportunities that will ensue from it, is a statement of the visionary nature of the CECCE (Conseil des Écoles catholiques du Centre-Est), which maintains its leadership position in the education field.

Furthermore, this pedagogical project was born out of a series of consultations that involved: students, school boards, the political community, as well as the staff of the two CECCE schools in Kingston. In response to their common desire for change and innovation, the École Marie-Rivier Catholic High School offers the new UniverSTEM Center of Excellence,’’ proudly states Réjean Sirois, CECCE Director of Education.

A recognized leader for transforming the learning experience, for the excellence and benevolence of its Catholic schools and its synergy with the community, the CECCE, with more than 24,500 students attending 44 elementary schools, 13 schools and an adult school, is the largest Canadian network of French-language schools outside of Quebec.

Release and Photos: CECCE