The Mitchell Odyssey Foundation

The Mitchell Odyssey Foundation was established by Ross Mitchell, a high-tech entrepreneur who was inspired by a science school trip at age 13 to engage in a life-long path of discovery into the physical sciences and create innovative communication technologies that have enhanced the world around him. The objective of the Foundation was to give adolescents the same opportunity by engaging, stimulating and mentoring them in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Launched in 2004 with pilot programs at two schools in Vancouver, MOF grew strategically to support a diverse network of 79 schools spread geographically across 34 School Districts in BC - engaging over 50,000 students annually in unique Odyssey learning experiences.


 We are facing a decline in STEM enrollment.

In the quest to address the problem of declining enrollment in post-secondary STEM programs at Canadian universities, MOF explored three main approaches to solve the challenge.


Invest to stimulate more youth curiosity in STEM

This approach included $1 million funding support to create two galleries at Science World. The Mitchell Odyssey Eureka Gallery and the BodyWorks Gallery. MOF also supported several STEM outreach initiatives to engage youth including Actua – Canada’s largest STEM outreach provider; Curiocity and Sanofi Aventis BioTalent Challenges for Youth.


Invest to catalyze adolescent STEM exploration and learning

The Odyssey Schools Program focused on engaging students in public schools, supported by Career Discovery and Odyssey Symposium. MOF enriched the learning experiences for students by funding enhancements to their science, technology and mathematics programs; and by stimulating collaboration between students, teachers, scientists and local industry. MOF developed a network of innovative Odyssey programs at 79 public schools throughout British Columbia - positively impacting over 50,000 students annually across grades 7–12 and inspiring innovative new teaching practices.

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STEM Exploration - STEM Learning Ecosystem - Success Stories

Impact Video 1[LIGHTBOX] - Impact Video 2[LIGHTBOX]


Invest to create engaging university programs in STEM

This approach included a $250,000 investment to create an InfoNet Media Lab at Simon Fraser University (SFU Surrey Campus). The Infonet Lab fused tech and arts to engage post-secondary students in advanced multimedia and creative technologies.

 Evolution of MOF Focus to Address the Challenge

The Mitchell Odyssey Foundation team leveraged diverse expertise across academia, government, industry, business and tech entrepreneurship with strategic insights into the challenge of declining enrollment in STEM. MOF evaluated its different approaches for levels of engagement, impacts and effectiveness. MOF observed that we lose potential scientists and engineers in their teens (14 – 16 years) when they start losing interest in STEM.  MOF strategically shifted its focus to invest to catalyze adolescent STEM exploration and learning by using the Odyssey Schools program to re-engage youth in STEM and inspire them to explore STEM career options.  The result was a broad, statistically significant, 10-year social experiment in STEM engagement in the BC public school system.

Learn more about our STEM Learning Ecosystem
Learn more about STEM Exploration
Mitchell Odyssey Foundation Success Stories



To address the problem of declining enrollment in post-secondary STEM programs, the Mitchell Odyssey Foundation (MOF) made significant investments to stimulate more youth curiosity in STEM, to catalyze adolescent STEM exploration and learning, and to create engaging university programs in STEM. As the MOF program evolved, the main investments focused on the Odyssey Schools Program to engage students in public schools, to expose students to STEM careers through the Career Discovery Program, and to support STEM learning through the Odyssey “Wild About Science” Symposium that inspired innovative teaching practices. The result of this investment was a network of innovative Odyssey programs at 79 public schools throughout British Columbia – impacting over 500,000 students in grades 7 – 12 over a 10 year period.


School Programs

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STEM Infrastructure Investment

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Symposium Professional Development

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Career Discovery

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At Waterloo, we believe that by instilling a deep appreciation for the importance of science and engineering in a society, we encourage students to discover and create technologies that will enhance our quality of life. We applaud the Mitchell Odyssey Foundation for its efforts to upgrade high school science facilities across Canada, an investment that will pay dividends for generations to come.
— University of Waterloo / Pearl Sullivan, Dean, Faculty of Engineering