Picture of three young women smiling

The Kindergarten to Industry (K2I) Academy

The Kindergarten to Industry (K2I) Academy is an innovation hub for STEM Education.
We push, bend, twist and break apart the boundaries of current K-12 outreach programs and offer programming that drives larger systemic changes in the K-12 system. As a key component to the Lassonde Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Action Plan, the K2I Academy is committed to building long-term, sustainable engagements with diverse partners to question our current system and diversify the engineering profession in Canada.
How do we plan to do this?
  • Prototype & Test new and emerging ideas in STEM, including Engineering, Computer Science, and Earth and Atmospheric Science, through large-scale and multi-sector collaboration, i.e. industry, professional organizations, public K-12 education, Elders, non-profit STEM education outreach organizations, and government.
  • Build Networks with partners across these systems to leverage capital investments, human capital, and expertise to develop research and data driven programs. Education today must be dynamic and agile to meet the changing needs of society.
The K2I Academy recognizes that we are all connected and have a role in creating a student learning journey that allows people to discover their potential, access opportunities to foster their potential, and pursue STEM career pathways. K2I Academy is an ecosystem of innovative thinkers, researchers and doers, committed to working together to create positive change.
Join the K2I movement and let’s take action!
Lisa Cole, Director of Programming
As Lassonde’s Kindergarten to Industry (K2I) Director of Programming, Lisa is responsible for building stronger partnerships with our K-12 school sector, providing clear pathways for students to enter our programs. She is an award-winning physics educator, with leadership experience.  She joins Lassonde from her most recent role as an Education Officer from the Ontario Ministry of Education focused on provincial STEM education.  Lisa is committed to working with communities and innovative partners to design and implement equitable STEM learning opportunities that will build STEM literacy, increase access to STEM learning opportunities, increase student achievement in STEM subjects, and inspire diverse students to embark on a career in STEM.
Sonia Szubelak, Project Assistant
With a BSc in Biological Sciences and Psychology, Sonia has always dreamed of using her skills and knowledge in the fields of STEAM to inspire youth. Her passion for working with students and organizing youth engagement programs for many years led her to join the Lassonde team in May 2019. In the first few months, with her team she launched and led The Helen Carswell STEAM Program for Women - a summer research and mentorship program for young women interested in learning about STEAM. Since then, she has been advocating for the three things most dear to her in her professional life: Engaging, Empowering & Transforming. That is, engaging our youth in programs that provide opportunities to experience new possibilities; empowering their minds to build the confidence to pursue their dreams, and transforming their views of what is and what could be.
Interested in learning more?
Please reach out to: k2i@lassonde.yorku.ca
Helen Carswell STEAM Program for Black and Indegenous Youth
In February, we the K2I Academy in the Lassonde School of Engineering welcomed 25 Black and Indigenous students from the York Region District School Board (YRDSB) to participate in a 14-week paid research program. The high school students will work on research projects related to engineering, computer science, earth science and/or atmospheric science under the guidance of undergraduate research assistant mentors, supervised by Lassonde faculty. Each student that participates in this program will receive a secondary co-op credit.
All research projects are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and are focused on making a positive social impact.

Read more about this initiative on YFile.
Helen Carswell STEAM Program for Women
Each summer, the Lassonde School of Engineering welcomes female high-school students from the Jane/Finch community to participate in a six-week Helen Carswell STEAM Program for Women Program.  We provide a paid learning experience for young women to work as Lab Assistants on projects supervised by Lassonde research faculty.  This program creates jobs for the local community, introduces young women who wouldn't otherwise have access to high-quality STEM/SSTEAM learning opportuntiies and provides valuable work and learning experience, exposing participants to the idea of pursuing STEM education. 
Read the full re-cap here & watch the video.
Participant Testimonials
“Prior to entering this program, I had no idea what I was interested in becoming in the future. With the help of my amazing mentors, I now feel confident in my decision to consider entering the wonderful field of STEAM” - Pinar Koc, Lab Assistant
“I hope that we give the students the space to plant the seed of curiosity that I think we all started in.”  - Justine Frampton, Lassonde Student Mentor – Atmospheric Science Student
“Our Lab Assistants showed how engineering, science and technology can bring UN Sustainable Development Goals to reality. This is just the beginning of your journeys. I’m very optimistic and certain the future is in good hands.” - Dr. Mojgan Jadidi, Earth & Space Science & Engineering – Geomatics Engineering
Girl Guide Badge Day in partnership with Ontario Women in Engineering (ONWiE)
K2I Academy continues to support and connect with organizations such as ONWiE to provide learning experiences for youth. The Girl Guide Badge Day provided a learning experience for Grade 5-11 students to connect with Lassonde students. This summer, Girl Guide members were able to obtain their STEM badge by participating in a virtual, interactive experience to learn about Geomatics Engineering and Coding. 
“Learning to code in Python was a challenging and rewarding experience. I hope to find more opportunities where I can further build on the skills I learned today.” - Grade 11 student participant
Lassonde Academy
Free online Pre-University programs were launched in Math, Physics, Chemistry, and Introduction to Computational Thinking and Coding for incoming Lassonde students! Focused on student success, these programs provided mentoring from instructors, learning connected to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and provided students with practice of key concepts. Lassonde is committed to student success by building community and fostering confidence.
Check out the promo video from our Director of Common Engineering, Professor Jeff Harris, to learn more
More programs coming soon!
The K2I Academy is preparing to continue to collaborate, connect with community, design, and implement new innovative programs.  We will share these opportunities as they become available.