STEAM Horizon Award Winners 2017

Aidan Aird
Markham, Ontario

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.

Marianne Drolet-Sénéchal
Sherbrooke, Québec

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, a website that showcases science innovators.

Jacqueline Fleisig
Toronto, Ontario

Jacqueline Fleisig

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 Ma
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Grace Ma

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 Wu
Scarborough, Ontario

Kay Wu

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.

Thomas Imbeault-Nepton
Saint-Honoré, Québec
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.

Olivia Perry
Lark Harbour, Newfoundland and Labrador
Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation

Olivia Perry

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.