News and media

Announcing the 2020 National Let’s Talk Science Award Finalists

Published
April 23, 2020
Type
News
National Award Finalists
Top: Geneviève Gill, Shiva Zargar, Sarah Zankar, Shalini Iyer, Madeson Todd
Middle: Jacqueline Barnett, An incredible journey with Inuuqatigiit, Kelly Xu, Nadia Bragagnolo
Bottom: Partnership with First Nation Education Initiative Incorporated in New Brunswick, Dhanvini Gudi, Hana Dibe, Amanda Yokingco



As we continue celebrating our volunteers during National Volunteer Week, we are pleased to announce the finalists for our National Volunteer Awards! Each year, we honour the impact that Let’s Talk Science volunteers have on children, youth and their peers with these four prestigious awards.

This year, we are presenting four awards:

  1. David Colcleugh Leadership Award for Let’s Talk Science Outreach site coordinators
  2. National Volunteer Award, Let’s Talk Science Outreach
  3. National Volunteer Award, Online (formerly CurioCity)
  4. Indigenous Outreach Project Award, Let’s Talk Science Outreach


Join us in celebrating the finalists for this year’s awards below!

2020 David Colcleugh Leadership Award for Let’s Talk Science Outreach site coordinators
This award recognizes a site coordinator who has demonstrated exceptional leadership and has influenced people to create positive change through STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) outreach.

This year’s finalists are:

Geneviève Gill, McGill University

Geneviève has put a strong emphasis on accessibility to STEM education, including greater access to STEM-based learning for students of multiple languages and cultural backgrounds and students with learning disabilities.

Jacqueline Barnett, University of British Columbia, Okanagan campus

Since Jacqueline became a site coordinator at the University of British Columbia Okanagan in May 2019, she has helped improve the site’s reach drastically with newly developed activities while putting an emphasis on volunteer engagement through multiple recognition initiatives.

Shalini Iyer, York University

Shalini has expanded her site’s impact through the creation of large events and symposiums, such as the Tri-Sci Tournament and the formation of a volunteer executive team.


2020 National Volunteer Award, Let’s Talk Science Outreach
This award recognizes volunteers who have shown outstanding innovation, communication and commitment to STEM outreach and education, whether at a Let’s Talk Science Outreach site or by volunteering directly with the Let’s Talk Science national office.

This year’s finalists are:

Amanda Yokingco, University of Toronto, Scarborough campus

Amanda has led rural outreach visits in the Yukon as part of her myriad of volunteering experiences with the University of Toronto - Scarborough campus. She demonstrated how STEM could intersect the arts by building a coding workshop using household items.

Hana Dibe, University of Guelph

Hana has constantly used effective and innovative teaching strategies while leading activities at the University of Guelph. She brought creative new ideas to increase online engagement and enhance her site’s social media presence at events like the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Kelly Xu, University of Ottawa

Kelly has shown great flexibility and uses effective questioning techniques when leading activities at the University of Ottawa. This year she initiated a partnership with the Ottawa Robotics Competition to help create opportunities for students in underrepresented groups to engage with STEM.

Madeson Todd, University of British Columbia

Madeson has demonstrated a clear vision of supporting Indigenous youth and how to incorporate Indigenous culture into STEM activities at the University of British Columbia. One way she did that was through piloting a mentorship program for Indigenous youth this year.

Shiva Zargar, University of British Columbia, Okanagan campus

Shiva has inspired students with her curiosity and love of learning through her many volunteering activities at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan campus. She has shown a continued commitment to helping young women find and maintain their place in STEM.


2020 National Volunteer Award, Online (formerly known as CurioCity)
This award recognizes individuals who have shown exceptional commitment and made outstanding contributions to Let’s Talk Science through their online activities.

This year’s finalists are:

Dhanvini Gudi

Throughout the writing and review process, Dhanvini focused on effective communication practices to understand the viewpoint of a young reader and create content that was clear, creative and easily understood.

Nadia Bragagnolo

Nadia showed her understanding of the importance of online outreach through writing to engage and make scientific concepts interesting and accessible for students across the country.

Sarah Zankar

As a content reviewer, Sarah was drawn to colourful and creative articles and found ways to add diagrams, images, colours, videos and catchy sentences to help engage students and stimulate their passion for STEM.


2020 Indigenous Outreach Project Award, Let’s Talk Science Outreach
This award recognizes an outreach project initiated by an Outreach site (or sites) that demonstrate a strong, positive impact on Indigenous youth through involvement in STEM-focused learning opportunities.

This year’s finalists are:

“Partnership with First Nation Education Initiative Incorporated in New Brunswick”  
UNB Fredericton, UNB Saint John, University of Moncton, Mount Allison University

In the first year of a partnership with First Nation Education Initiative Incorporated (FNEII) in New Brunswick, volunteers reached 255 Indigenous Youth and delivered over 24 activities in all but one of the Indigenous elementary schools in New Brunswick. Their aim was to raise STEM awareness among Indigenous students and inspire them to have the self-efficacy, knowledge and passion to be interested in STEM and hopefully one day pursue a related career.

“An incredible journey with Inuuqatigiit”
University of Ottawa

As part of an ongoing partnership working with Inuit children at Inuuqatigiit’s Tukimut Afterschool Program, volunteers completed 46 activities with 855 youth at Inuuqatigiit since March, 2019. Their main goal was to encourage an interest and excitement in science by connecting with Inuit youth, listening to their stories, and showing them that science is all around us.

 

The award winners will be announced in June 2020 – congratulations to all of the nominees!