Contact North | Contact Nord and the Royal Ontario Museum Partner to Help More Students Access the ROM

Technology allows students in remote communities to experience a world-class museum first hand

(Sudbury/Thunder Bay/Toronto) – January 26, 2012) – Contact North | Contact Nord, Ontario’s Distance Education and Training Network, and the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) are collaborating for a second year to deliver the ROM’s innovative content to elementary and secondary school students province-wide.

The partnership enables the ROM to use Contact North | Contact Nord’s learning technologies to deliver its content to students, either in one of Contact North | Contact Nord’s 112 access centres located in communities across the province, or directly into the classroom.

Through the program, students in small and remote communities are able to access the collections of one of the world’s leading museums – an opportunity they might never otherwise have had.

The first sessions for 2012 cover:

  • Egypt (January)
  • Medieval Times (February)
  • Dinosaurs (March)
  • Astronomy (April)
  • Rocks & Minerals (May)
  • Crazy Bugs & Butterflies (June)

Last year, the program was delivered to a total of 20 different school groups in small and remote communities across the province with close to 500 students participating. Students from as far away as Wawa were able to experience and learn from the ROM’s collections and curators as if they were at the museum themselves.

“The ROM is very pleased to enter into this pilot with Contact North | Contact Nord. We see great potential in this partnership to expand access to the ROM’s collections and expertise to students across Ontario,” said Julian Siggers, Vice President, Programs & Content Communication, Royal Ontario Museum. “The students’ excitement is palpable over the video conference connection as they interact with ROM instructors and real artifacts.”

“Contact North | Contact Nord is renewing a partnership with the Royal Ontario Museum that started over two decades ago when the ROM used our telewriter technology to deliver its content to classrooms in Northern Ontario,” said Debra Betty, Vice-President, Program Development, Contact North | Contact Nord. “Through the use of our learning technologies, we now can deliver the ROM’s content live to communities across the province, providing a higher quality learning experience and reaching more students.”

“Our students were thrilled to have the opportunity to see real Egyptian artifacts, pose questions to the presenter, and learn about this incredible ancient culture right here in our community,” said Maria Salazar, Principal, Our Lady of Fatima School, Chapleau. “The cost of a trip is too high for the already small budgets of schools like ours, but our students deserve the same chances as the children in bigger centres to be exposed to the cultural events, content and knowledge offered by an institution like the ROM. Using Contact North | Contact Nord’s access centre and its technology is an excellent way to make this possible.”

Elementary and secondary schools interested in offering the ROM content to their students through Contact North | Contact Nord can contact Debra Betty at 705-525-7244 or via e-mail at They can also visit the ROM website at for full details.

About the Royal Ontario Museum
The Royal Ontario Museum is an agency of the Government of Ontario. Opened in 1914, Canada’s preeminent museum of natural history and world cultures has six million objects in its collections and galleries showcasing art, archaeology and natural science.

The ROM’s vision is to be recognized globally as an essential destination for making sense of the changing natural and cultural worlds. An important research institute, ROM curators continue to make new discoveries and enhance knowledge of the Museum’s collections. The ROM’s collections and research serve as the basis for programs ranging from formal student education courses to public debates, lectures, symposia, films, tours, publications, travel and family activities. The Museum aims to produce and host programs of intellectual depth and social relevance on both sides of its mandate, including unique ROM exhibitions and works of a collaborative nature. The Institute for Contemporary Culture (ICC) is the ROM’s window on contemporary societies around the globe, examining current cultural, social and political issues throughout the modern world in thought-provoking exhibitions of contemporary art, photography, architecture and design.

For 24-hour information on the ROM in English and French, please call 416-586-8000 or visit