2021 STEAM Horizon Award Winners
Ingenium – Canada’s Museum’s of Science and Innovation is pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 STEAM Horizon Awards.
Prince George, British Columbia
Samantha Burke is finishing up Grade 12 in Prince George, B.C and is set to begin pursuing a degree in Biochemsitry at the University of Alberta. Throughout her years in high school, Samantha has been an active leader within both the school and her community. She volunteered with health care professionals in a program called the Kindergarten Health Circuit, which offers students in kindergarten a safe and welcoming environment when they receive immunizations and other necessary checkups. In more recent years, she completed a research project on a fairly unresearched condition known as aphantasia–the inability to create images in one’s mind. She shared her findings both within her school and locally. Samantha is passionate about giving youth in rural areas of Canada more opportunities to expand their passions and understanding of of STEAM fields.
Sabrina Button has always been up for a challenge. Throughout high school, she entered just about every math and coding competition she could find, joined every tech-related club at school, and created an ever-growing portfolio of innovative projects. Two years ago, her passion for STEAM accelerated when she created and presented a videogame to raise mental health awareness to a group of high school students at the University of Ottawa. This experience led to a work term at a high-tech company creating automated chatbots, followed by another placement where she created an autonomous control system for a chemical corrosion test chamber. Sabrina is passionate about inspiring youth to embrace STEAM with confidence. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she founded a coding club with the help of her teachers to encourage students to join online programming competitions. Sabrina hopes to use STEAM to innovate, design and lead at the intersection of technological advancement and social progress.
Qalipu First Nation Mi’kmaq
Madison LaSaga is a Grade 12 student at Stephenville High in Stephenville, Newfoundland. In her position as Service Project Coordinator for NL’s Girl Guides Provincial Youth Forum, she contributed to the creation of the Youth Forum’s STEM crest challenge. The challenge outlined activities like engineering sustainable blanket forts and making binary code name bracelets for Girl Guides across the province. In summer 2019, Madison was selected to attend Memorial University’s MedQuest, learning from health professionals through lectures and experiments. Throughout high school, she held various volunteer and leadership roles including: founding member of the Debate Club, Student Council Co-Vice President, Provincial Representative for the RCMP’s National Youth Advisory Council, and Junior Girl Guide Leader. As a member of Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation, her work as a private tutor for Jordan’s Principle and Team Leader/Summer Camp Director at No’kmaq Village has been especially meaningful to her. Madison hopes to encourage learning and inspire interest in STEAM. Madison begins her BSc. at Memorial University this autumn, where she will major in Behavioural Neuroscience. She hopes this will help lay the foundation for a career in medicine serving Canada’s underserved populations.
Solenne Le Billon
Vancouver, British Columbia
Solenne Le Billon is a STEM ambassador from Vancouver and is entering engineering at the University of British Columbia as a Schulich Leader. She is a youth advisor for UBC’s Diversifying Talent in Quantum Computing project, which seeks to foster equity and inclusion in quantum, focusing on girls and Indigenous youth. A SHAD alum, and volunteer with GEERING UP (British Columbia’s largest science outreach program), Solenne is passionate about supporting girls from diverse backgrounds to pursue innovative STEAM fields. She is founder of Science Girls Squad, and her science/adventure fiction novels have been shared with young girls through partnerships with universities in Canada and the United States.
Albert Nitu is an 18-year-old student passionate about advancing the fields of molecular biology, artificial intelligence, and medicine. Throughout high school, his fascination with science led him to design a rapid and effective diagnostic assay for infectious diseases; develop in the lab at uOttawa a novel CRISPR-based antimicrobial to combat antibiotic resistance; and engineer an algorithm that uncovered new molecular targets against Alzheimer’s disease. As his passion for STEAM grew, he realized that empowering the next generation of STEAM leaders to push forward the frontiers of scientific innovation was equally as important as research itself. To that end, Albert co-founded the SET Foundation, which strengthens students’ passions for technology and engineering through hands-on, interactive workshops, conferences, and hackathons. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he also founded the STEMcast podcast to connect the current generation of STEAM leaders and innovators with the next. Ultimately, Albert hopes that students his age will be able to take advantage of these opportunities and positively impact society through their own STEAM careers.