Serial entrepreneur Jeremy Hedges has launched a new Kitchener-based startup to help students learn about climate change through educational technology kits.

Hedges’ latest company, Forward Education, produces “climate action kits” that enable students to build prototypes of actual technology solutions being used today to address climate change.

“Forward Education's Climate Action Kits make the process of teaching and learning coding easy, exciting and purposeful for students and teachers alike,” the company says. “Using the online interactive lessons, students are introduced to a variety of climate change issues and their technological solutions.”

Each kit contains hardware, building blocks and computing components for students to code and create working prototypes. Projects range from a simple windmill for renewable energy to automated tree-seeding vehicles to repair deforestation.

“The wildfires raging across Canada are a warning signal for what our future looks like without taking action against climate change,” said Hedges. “The technology solutions exist today to tackle these challenges head on, but we need generations of inspired youth to help create a brighter future.”

Forward Education is a spinoff of InkSmith, a Kitchener-based education-technology company that Hedges founded in 2016. InkSmith initially sold filament for 3D printing. During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hedges used that know-how to provide plastic face shields to health-care workers. He then started a PPE business called The Canadian Shield that scaled to more than $80 million in sales in just 18 months and placed fourth on the Globe and Mail’s ranking of fastest-growing companies in 2021.

Forward Education plans to formally launch its climate change action kits at the ISTELIVE ‘23 education technology conference, June 25- 28, in Philadelphia.