Inuvik (February 24, 2023) – The Aurora Research Institute STEM Outreach team, are co-recipients of the 2022 Actua Experience – Teacher Training Award. The team was presented with the award during the recent Actua Awards Night in Ottawa.

Actua is Canada’s largest STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) outreach organization, representing a national network of 43 universities and colleges that engage youth aged six to 26 in STEM learning experiences.

The Actua Experience Award is presented annually in recognition of excellence in one of the organization’s national program areas. This year, Excellence in Teacher Training was recognized. The Aurora Research Institute (ARI) STEM Outreach team developed a “Train the Teacher, Loan the Gear” program during the COVID-19 pandemic and has continued to expand since. The program trains teachers to deliver experiential STEM programming in communities the ARI team can’t regularly reach or travel to and loans classroom kits to those teachers free of charge.

In addition to working closely with regional school divisions to deliver one-to-one training to teachers, the outreach team works with Aurora College’s Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) Diploma program to train ELCC students to deliver age-appropriate STEM activities. The team worked with 125 NWT educators at the Northwest Territories Teachers Association (NWTTA) conference in October 2022.

The ARI STEM Outreach team has show creativity, innovation and a deep understanding of the unique local needs to develop STEM activities that captivate and educate Northern students. What began as a response to the challenges of the pandemic has grown into an exciting, thriving program that provides important supports for teachers and students across the NWT.

Team members include Annika Trimble, ARI Outreach Coordinator, Inuvik; Hilary Turko, South Slave Outreach Coordinator; Chris Black, North Slave Outreach Coordinator; and Kelly Kamo McHugh, STEM Outreach Technician, Inuvik.