Governor General Previews Perimeter's BrainSTEM Festival

Canada's Governor General, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, got a first-hand look at the interactive exhibits that will be showcased during Perimeter Institute's upcoming BrainSTEM Festival.

During a visit to Perimeter Institute, His Excellency tried out a "mind control" headset that allows the user to interface with computer software. The visit was part of a special preview of the interactive science exhibits that will be featured during Perimeter Institute's upcoming BrainSTEM Festival.

"This is marvellous," the Governor General said after controlling computer software using only the power of pure thought.

"It picks up electrical signals from the brain? As my grandchildren would say, it blows the mind. Or rather, it expands the mind tremendously."

The mind-control exhibit is just one of a dozen hands-on displays that will enthrall and educate visitors to BrainSTEM: Your Future is Now. The weeklong public festival, running September 30 through October 6, will highlight the importance of pursuing STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math) and celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit that contributes to a brighter, more prosperous future.

The Governor General, a former President of the University of Waterloo who has watched the independent Perimeter Institute grow since inception, said the BrainSTEM festival exemplifies the forward-thinking approach to science education that sets Canada apart as a global leader.

"When (Perimeter) was first being conceived ... I was quite excited, as others were, about an institute that would bring thoughtful people together to work on very fundamental questions of science," he told a gathering of Perimeter researchers and members of the media.

"Perimeter has created marvellous programs for making science and technology available to the world at large, and has been wonderfully successful."

Following the exhibit preview, the Governor General visited with students in the renowned Perimeter Scholars International (PSI) training program, headquartered in Perimeter Institute's Stephen Hawking Centre.

His Excellency met and chatted with each of the 31 brilliant master's-level students in the PSI program, encouraging them to apply their training and curiosity toward building a brighter future for Canada and the world.

"Follow your passion," he said. "This is a great place to do it."



From September 30 to October 6, 2013, Perimeter Institute invites the public to imagine, discover, and innovate with the BrainSTEM: Your Future is Now Festival. This one-of-a-kind scientific celebration shares some of the latest and most intriguing technological innovations through a series of interactive exhibits, lectures, school visits, and tours. The activities aim to spark much-needed skills building and entrepreneurial thinking, particularly among today's high school youth, in order that they seize their potential, maximize their education, and be ready to excel in all new careers of the future.

The BrainSTEM Festival media kit can be accessed here. Event tickets are still available. While admission to most events is free, advance tickets must be ordered. Tickets are available online.

The BrainSTEM Festival is presented by Perimeter Institute with the support of the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev). FedDev Ontario recognizes the need for a vibrant approach to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics throughout society. Perimeter also recognizes the support of Sun Life Financial, Linamar Manufacturing Limited, Toyota Manufacturing Canada Inc., and The Waterloo Region Record in making these events possible.

For more information on the BrainSTEM: Your Future is Now Festival, the concurrent Equinox Summit: Learning 2030, and related activities from presenting media partner TVO (including The Agenda with Steve Paikin), please visit

Concurrent Event

Equinox Summit: Learning 2030: Taking place from September 29 to October 3, this special gathering will focus on the long-term future of education, globally. Presented by the Waterloo Global Science Initiative, Learning 2030 will bring together education innovators from around the world to explore best practices and promising initiatives aimed at empowering students' creativity and potential. Full details, including opportunities to attend or view the many live-streamed and broadcast discussions, are available on the Learning 2030 website.

Further Exploration

About Perimeter Institute

Perimeter Institute is the world’s largest research hub devoted to theoretical physics. The independent Institute was founded in 1999 to foster breakthroughs in the fundamental understanding of our universe, from the smallest particles to the entire cosmos. Research at Perimeter is motivated by the understanding that fundamental science advances human knowledge and catalyzes innovation, and that today’s theoretical physics is tomorrow’s technology. Located in the Region of Waterloo, the not-for-profit Institute is a unique public-private endeavour, including the Governments of Ontario and Canada, that enables cutting-edge research, trains the next generation of scientific pioneers, and shares the power of physics through award-winning educational outreach and public engagement.

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