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.
I am Angéline Lafleur, a French-Canadian STEAM ambassador from Ottawa entering the physics and electrical engineering dual degree at uOttawa. My goal is to contribute to the emerging field of quantum computing. I am passionate about encouraging girls to pursue STEAM fields; I have presented in many workshops in neighbouring schools and virtually during COVID-19, and I mentored a team of girls for Technovation, an international coding competition. Furthermore, to help combat procrastination and improve student mental health, I have been working on a web/mobile automatic scheduling app called PlanIt to be released within my school board. Finally, my interest in pop culture has led me to study the Korean language for the past three years.
North Vancouver, British Columbia
My name is Chloé Chevallier and I am passionate about reimagining the status quo to make access to STEAM more inclusive. This passion grew out of my interest in helping disadvantaged populations and was fueled by my involvement leading various initiatives. I founded my school’s chapter of the Wish Youth Network Society to help support local terminally ill children and their families. I also traveled to the Dominican Republic to build safe housing for local families in need and provide support to the entire community. As I became more immersed in STEAM, I set out to address the ongoing need for gender equality and became Co-Chair of Millennium STEM BC. I assembled and led a team of students to organize a conference focused on empowering youth in STEAM and addressing gender discrepancies in technology-related fields. Now studying Architectural Engineering at the University of Waterloo, I work hard to encourage an inclusive and collaborative environment where people from all genders and backgrounds work towards a more equitable and sustainable future together.
My name is Katiya Gareau-Jones and I am a proud Cree. I live in Sudbury, Ontario, and am currently enrolled in grade 12 at l’école secondaire du Sacré-Coeur. During the summer of 2018, I created and managed my own company called KK’s Healthy Paws, which produced and sold healthy, natural dog and cat treats at the local Farmer’s Market. A few years ago, I participated in the PEO bridge Building contest where the bridges were judged for functionality, originality, length specification and load carrying capacity. Participating in this challenge opened my awareness of and interest in the engineering profession. I am the Youth Ambassador for the I Love First Peoples campaign in my region. My passion for helping remote communities along with a future in Structural engineering inspires me to continue my efforts to make a difference.
Nunatsiavut, Newfoundland and Labrador
My name is Nicholas Flowers and I am 17 years old. I’m currently attending Grade 12 at Amos Comenius Memorial School in Hopedale, Nunatsiavut, Labrador. Over my high school years, I’ve done my best to take on a leadership role within my school and community by promoting our Inuit culture and traditional values along with nurturing the love for sciences and environmental stewardship. This past year I attended the Students on Ice Arctic expedition and the Canadian Student Leadership Conference in British Columbia. Last fall, I co-presented at the 21st Inuit Studies Conference about the winter and summer archaeology experiences I had in Hopedale. I am very passionate about learning Inuttitut as well as teaching youth how to sew traditional crafts. With the help of my parents and teachers, I’ve also started an after school Primary/Elementary science club program which gives youth the opportunity to learn the importance of science and teamwork. In the upcoming fall, I plan to study at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University while pursuing a degree in Environmental Science.
My name is Sawsan Haider, and I’m an 18-year-old who is passionate about solving problems in the hope of impacting billions. I am a student at The Knowledge Society- a Toronto-based innovation program for ambitious young people. Here, I’ve immersed myself in science and technology and worked on projects in areas like machine learning and biotechnology. Some cool projects that I’ve worked on include a project called Zyme which converts food waste into a biodegradable plastic, an app that uses retina scans to detect Alzheimer’s, and a machine learning algorithm to detect diseases in CT Scans. Currently I’m working on building a robot car controlled with my brain.
As the founder and leader of several science and technology-related school clubs — including a Coding Club, Math Club, and Maker Club — Jason challenges his peers and helps to further develop their interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM). He competes in science fairs and math competitions, often scoring highly, and also maintains an almost perfect academic average. Outside of school, Jason started his own company — which helps supply low-cost electronics and tools to makerspaces, hobbyists, and schools. In his free time, Jason solders circuits in his workshop, writes his own programs, and builds electronics projects. He’s passionate about using STEAM to tackle problems in our world, and looks forward to being a STEAM ambassador for years to come.
Inuvik, Northwest Territories
Hailing from Inuvik, Northwest Territories — a small community located above the Arctic Circle — Tyra graduated as Valedictorian of her high school. Currently, she’s working towards her Bachelor of Science in Mathematics at the University of Victoria. With a long-standing interest in STEAM, Tyra participated in the Canada-Wide Science Fair and the Prime Minister’s Science Fair in 2018; her project studied the effects of sleep deprivation. She is deeply grateful to be a recipient of the STEAM Horizon Awards, which will help her to achieve her goal of becoming a teacher and returning to Canada’s North.
Kamloops, British Columbia
A member of Métis Nation British Columbia, Jonah was born in Vancouver and raised in Kamloops on Secwepemc territory. Currently completing Grade 12, he plans to attend Thompson Rivers University for his first year of Engineering before moving on to the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, or the University of Victoria. Jonah’s long-term plan is to pursue the field of clean energy, with a focus on remote, off-the-grid communities. Beyond school and work, Jonah volunteers with the community kitchen, cancer fundraisers, and coaching hockey. He loves sports — including hockey, soccer, skiing, and wakeboarding — and can often be found listening to music.
Throughout high school, Waleed devoted his energy to encouraging less-abled students to grow their knowledge about Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) subjects. He worked alongside his school administration and the regional science fair committee to create a mentorship program that encourages developmentally educated (DE) students to get involved with STEAM initiatives. Waleed helped to establish a DE division at his regional science and engineering fair; it was the first of its kind in Canada. As a community leader, Waleed volunteered with Relay for Life, Best Buddies, and FIRST LEGO League. Most notably, Waleed represented Canada at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. His project, Drip – A Precision Irrigation System for Emerging Nations, provided farmers with real-time information about their crop-growing conditions at a low cost. Waleed’s passion for STEAM will continue to manifest itself through innovative initiatives in the future.
Saint John, New Brunswick
An aspiring researcher and change maker, Jackson Weir is currently studying Biology at the University of New Brunswick (UNB). Letting curiosity drive action, Jackson actively seeks opportunities to learn, contribute to humanity’s scientific body of knowledge, and help others. Passionate about sharing his love for exploration and discovery, he serves as the Junior Editor-in-Chief at the Atlantic Student Research Journal, and as the co-founder of Ponder, a discussion club at UNB. Jackson has also been fortunate to do some scientific research of his own. He won a Senior Gold Medal and the Environment Challenge Award at the Canada-Wide Science Fair, presented his findings to Justin Trudeau at the Prime Minister’s Science Fair, and had his work published in two journals.
Meadows, Newfoundland and Labrador
(Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation)
Cassidy strives to be an ambassador for youth in STEAM. Over the past two years, she has tutored students in math and science; she loves to reverse negative attitudes towards these subjects by explaining concepts in a way kids can understand. A community leader, Cassidy has volunteered with Relay for Life, Run for the Cure, We Scare Hunger, and many other initiatives. Last summer, she worked as a bee research assistant to Dr. Julie Sircom through the Women in Science and Engineering Student Summer Employment Program. When she studies science at Memorial University this fall, she intends to become a leader with the Women in Science and Engineering Program — with an aim to lead young girls into rewarding careers in STEAM.
Ella Katelyn Chan
Victoria, British Columbia
Ella’s passion for science was ignited through her younger brother’s diagnosis with Nephrotic Syndrome, a potentially-debilitating kidney disease. Finding the lack of treatment options unacceptable, she enrolled in the Pharmacology program at the University of British Columbia, and is entering the field of pharmaceutical research in the hopes of discovering long-term treatment options for autoimmune conditions. For the past four years, Ella has been running an educational science YouTube Channel called Sci-Files — which has been featured by educational blogs such as “The Kid Should See This” and the Chicago Filed Museum’s “Brain Scoop.” She hopes to grow her channel to reach a larger audience and continue to inspire youth to get involved in STEAM.
Maya is on a mission to stop Alzheimer’s in its tracks. When she was 15, she started reading scientific studies on the disease. She then convinced a professor at McGill University to let her conduct research in his lab. Since then, she has been studying excitotoxicity, a phenomenon where neuronal receptors are over-stimulated by the neurotransmitter glutamate. She is endeavoring to confirm a theory that this over-stimulation leads to the formation of Aβ plaques, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s pathology. Maya has presented the preliminary results of her research at several science fairs, including the Prime Minister’s Science Fair in Ottawa and the MILSET International Science Fair in Brazil. As an active volunteer with disabled teenagers, Maya hopes to help kids with disabilities discover STEAM.
Shaye Anne Pierson
Coalhurst, Alberta (Métis)
Shaye Anne strongly believes in the power of hard work and education. She has held the highest average in her high school for four years, and achieved a 99% average on her last report card. A demonstrated community leader, Shaye Anne has run a childcare service, helped to build a playground at the elementary school, and provided tutoring to kids in math, science, and reading. She has also led and spoken at nine student leadership conferences across Alberta—giving her the opportunity to influence thousands of youth at the provincial level. Accepted into the University of Lethbridge, Shaye Anne intends to marry science and education — with a goal to instill a love for math and science in youth around the world.
Richmond Hill, Ontario
From a young age, Kayley has been exploring STEAM through her own homemade projects — constantly scavenging the house for makeshift lab materials. A strong advocate for children with special needs, Kayley started a STEAM-based, after-school program to introduce autistic children to the world of scientific inquiry and experimentation. Her work with autism has led her to national and international science investigatory competitions — garnering many awards and recognitions — including the honour of presenting her project at the Prime Minister’s Science Fair. During her high school years in Richmond Hill, Kayley has been involved in the Science Olympics Club, as well as math and computing competitions. She also founded and captained an all-girls robotics team and an all-girls physics debate team. Kayley aspires to be a biomedical engineer.
From founder of a not-for-profit organization to four-time Canada-Wide Science Fair participant, Aidan’s resume is nothing short of impressive. As winner of one gold, two silvers, a patent award, an engineering award, and a transportation efficiency award while competing at the Canada-Wide Science Fair, Aidan’s passion for STEAM has yielded remarkable results. In addition, he has received two global distinctions for his charity and science related work: the 2015 Eduzine Global ACE (Achieve, Celebrate, and Educate) Young Achiever Award and the 2016 Three Dot Dash Global Teen Leader Award. In 2016, Aidan was celebrated as the 360 Kids Volunteer of the Year and over the years has received numerous awards for STEM related achievements including being honoured four times by the City of Markham. Through his research, Aidan he has developed two award-winning inventions: The Turbo-Eco Cookstove Plus — a highly efficient, multi-functional stove that cooks food, purifies water, and charges small electronic devices all at the same time and The Water Wheel Cart Plus — an innovative, highly efficient, multi-functional cart that allows users to easily transport and purify water, plant and irrigate crops, transport goods, and produce electricity. As the founder of two not-for-profit organizations, Developing Innovations and STEM Kids Rock, Aidan is an avid promoter of STEAM and continues to celebrate the achievements of young people through his website, public speaking engagements, social media presence, and many STEAM-related outreach programs.
The key to Marianne’s success lies in choosing subjects she is passionate about and never giving up. Her talent is science and her success is proof of that. Marianne has distinguished herself by winning several Science Fair awards. Marianne is the proud recipient of two gold and three silver medals — three from the Canada-Wide Science Fair. She has also received several specialized awards: the 2013 UdeS (Université de Sherbrooke) Department of Biology award; the Merck Canada Têtes chercheuses award in 2015; the Ministère de l’Économie, de la Science et de l’Innovation (MESI) du Québec award in 2016; and the International Summer School for Young Physicists (ISSYP) award. Marianne developed a solid tradition of scientific research in high school by participating in a project on organic crystals and nonlinear optics. She has worked on many other projects, with the goal of either popularizing a scientific field (the origin of human languages, 2013; the origin of unicellular life, 2014) or furthering knowledge about rare diseases (Fragile X Syndrome, 2015), and has done research in cryptography using random numbers generated by quantum phenomena (random quantum numbers, 2016). During secondary school, Marianne popularized scientific topics at science fairs, in Cégep science projects, in a presentation at the Sherbrooke Nature Science Museum, and through articles for the general public, including an article for You Effect, a publication that promotes young leaders under 25 years old. She has been featured on DevelopingInnovations.org, a website that showcases science innovators.
Like Newton’s First Law of Motion, the external force that set Jacqueline’s journey towards academic excellence in motion was a conference for girls in engineering at McMaster University. To continue her momentum at a postsecondary level, Jacqueline was recently awarded a $2500 scholarship to pursue a degree at McMaster University’s Faculty of Engineering. Jacqueline’s many accomplishments include work as a SHAD Fellow (a Canadian summer enrichment program for high-achieving high school students), participating in an entrepreneurial design competition with the goal of getting people to go outside. Her team created a prototype of a winter running mask which won Microsoft’s Best Website Award at the SHAD John-Dobson Entrepreneurship Cup. Through SHAD, she was bestowed the honour of being a high school ambassador at the 2016 Gairdner Awards for biomedical science, a precursor to the Nobel Prize. There, she spoke with the federal Ministers of Science and Health about the importance of SHAD and other STEAM programs in cultivating the next generation of scientists, engineers, and mathematicians. In summer 2016, she worked at an engineering nanofabrication laboratory, constructing a research project about the effects of nanostructures upon cell growth. In an informal context, she created an Environmental Council at her school’s model United Nations conference. By bringing science into a forum usually reserved for the social sciences, she was able to help inspire students to examine and pursue STEAM beyond the conference. As an ambassador for STEAM, Jacqueline wishes to focus on promoting STEAM to young girls.
Grace’s passion for creating meaningful change and action is the driving force behind her research success. Hailing from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Grace is a researcher with the International Student-led Arctic Monitoring and Research (ISAMR) program — a coalition of students and educators from Winnipeg, Churchill, and Baltimore, Maryland, who have worked together since 2007 on a projected 30-year study of the permafrost and sea ice in a subarctic climate. Last summer, Grace conducted permafrost and vegetation research in the Greater Wapusk Ecosystem where she experienced the wonders of the Tundra. She has since represented ISAMR at conferences such as Wapusk National Park Research and Monitoring Symposium and ArcticNet’s Annual Scientific Meeting. At ArcticNet, she gave a research talk regarding monitoring of a burnt bog in Wapusk. In addition, Grace produced a creative short film chronicling the summer research trip, which has been shared on various social media platforms to raise awareness of their research and the Arctic in general. In addition, as an ambassador for STEAM, Grace hopes to maintain a relevant social media presence to share interesting discoveries, promote STEAM opportunities for youth, and most importantly, listen to youth. Looking to the future, Grace would like to create a web-based, youth-led Arctic community that would feature free, online seminars with researchers and professors, and weekly Skype discussions between youth on a specific topic, such as the consequences of diminishing biodiversity. She believes bridging relationships with youth and the professional research field will strengthen the foundation for meaningful change and action.
Kay is a first year student at Queen’s University with a reputation that precedes her. Her academic pursuits led to achieving the highest average in grades 11 and 12 at her high school, for which she was awarded the Governor General’s Medal. In 2015, she ranked third in Canada on the Chem 13 News Exam and was one of 10 students selected from across Canada to compete in the rigourous provincial and national Chemistry Olympiad training camps. Kay has pursued many scientific research opportunities such as the Sanofi Biotechnology Challenge and Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP), authoring multiple proposals and conducting experiments at labs. Kay’s SSEP project, which examined muscle atrophy in microgravity, was selected for spaceflight and later launched to the International Space Station. With an equal passion for writing, Kay won the Alpha Textbooks Short Story Contest in 2015, and is published in a creative writing anthology. She directs and acts as a mentor for the Scientific Opportunities Research Mentoring Program, which guides youth to pursue hands-on experience in STEM fields and is a committee member at the Foundation of Student Science and Technology and STEM Fellowship, where she leads programs that equip the next generation with STEM skills. With a particular interest in healthcare technology, Kay hopes one day to develop an inexpensive and disposable Zika virus (ZIKV) self-test kit to determine the presence of ZIKV RNA in a patient’s urine for up to 14 days after symptom onset.
Montagnais du Lac-St-Jean (Innus)
As a student, Thomas has received much recognition for his talent and innovation. In 2013, he won the Hydro-Québec First Prize in the regional Science Fair finals for his project about biopiles. At the 2014 Canada-Wide Science Fair, Thomas won platinum for the best junior science project as well as a gold medal and the Challenge Award — Health (Junior) for his project Au rythme de l’Haptique. In 2015, he received a bronze medal for his project Quand le cerveau tient tête, and in 2016 won a silver medal and award from the Biostatistics Section of the Statistical Society of Canada for his project Éclaire ton attention. Other distinctions include an award from the Association des statisticiens et statisticiennes du Québec in 2015 and being a two-time recipient of the Merck Canada Têtes chercheuses award. Thomas has been an ambassador for his region several times. He has appeared on numerous TV and radio shows, and is passionate about sharing his love for science, vision for the future, curiosity about new things, and especially, attempts at finding solutions to problems and making the world a better place. Thomas came up with an innovative idea to help prevent falls among the elderly and reduce the rate of restraint through better risk management.
Lark Harbour, Newfoundland and Labrador
Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation
Among numerous achievements, Olivia counts as her greatest accomplishment winning the prestigious national competition Poetry in Voice in 2015. Having beat out 50,000 high school and Cégep student competitors, Olivia had the best poetry recitations in the English stream at the national finals in Montreal. Taking her eloquence in a different direction, Olivia was elected student premier for the Atlantic Provinces in 2015. Chosen by her school and the Forum selection committee, she was among the lucky ones selected to attend the Forum for Young Canadians, recognized as Canada’s premier youth educational program to learn about Canadian systems of government, leadership, and citizenship. Olivia also uses her public speaking abilities to bring taboo issues to new light, having won the Inter School Speak Off two years in a row. Olivia’s academic strengths are not limited to language as she placed first in her region at the University of Waterloo mathematics competition in 2015 and earned an invitation to the Blundon Seminar at Memorial University in 2016. Olivia has dedicated her teenage years to sculpting younger generations. Teaching Sunday School, leading science summer camps, tutoring, working as an IT representative, and supervising young dancers at her studio are just a few of the ways she has reached out to youth. Olivia also worked in the Chemistry-Physics building at Memorial University assisting in research regarding the development of bio-fuels as a safe-alternative energy source that can be used in the place of fossil fuels.