Aurora College is proud to announce that its Aurora Research Institute (ARI) STEM Outreach team has received the 2023 Premier’s Award in the Teams category for their exceptional work providing experiential Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education to youth and educators  across the Northwest Territories. The ARI STEM Outreach team has displayed innovation, creativity, service excellence, and a commitment to embracing inclusion and Traditional Knowledge in their work since 2016.

Each year, the Premier of the Northwest Territories recognizes GNWT employees and teams that demonstrate excellence, innovation, and dedication through the Premier’s Awards.

During the past year, the STEM Outreach team has delivered more than 500 hands-on STEM events, engaging NWT youth nearly 10,000 times, in more than 25 communities across five regions. They have successfully mentored hundreds of NWT teachers, providing them with the skills and tools necessary to make STEM programming in their classrooms more hands-on and inquiry-driven. This has created a sustainable approach to expanding STEM educational opportunities, ultimately working towards improving employment and economic opportunities.

The team has received national recognition for their dedication to excellence, winning several prestigious awards. Their partnerships with regional school boards, Aurora College instructors and national organizations such as Actua, Let’s Talk Science, Polar Knowledge Canada and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) have enabled them to develop and deliver innovative and culturally appropriate programs, directly addressing the unique needs of Northern students and educators.

Committed to incorporating Indigenous Traditional Knowledge and northern settings into their programming, Outreach team has garnered support from Indigenous organizations, including the Gwich’in Tribal Council and the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation. Engaging students on the land, inviting Elders to share their knowledge, and establishing projects such as the ethnobotany educational garden in Inuvik have significantly contributed to promoting STEM education in a culturally relevant way.


“We are proud of the accomplishments our STEM Outreach Team has achieved regionally and territorially.  The education and mentorship of students and teachers ignites experiential learning and affirms cultural values – a sharing that empowers the relevance of learning throughout the regions in the NWT.
–              Joel McAlister, Vice President Research, Aurora College