Skip to main content

Congratulations to the 2022 National Volunteer Award Winners!

News | June 18, 2022 | Share on:

Each year, we recognize the Let’s Talk Science Outreach volunteers who have exceeded expectations. Our volunteers have shown exceptional innovation and creativity to continue inspiring youth through science, technology, engineering and math. We applaud their outstanding contributions to volunteerism and Let’s Talk Science through three prestigious awards!

We’re proud to present the 2022 winners of The David Colcleugh Leadership Award, the Let’s Talk Science National Volunteer Award, and the Indigenous Outreach Project Award, Let’s Talk Science Outreach.

The David Colcleugh Leadership Award for Let's Talk Science Outreach 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.

Winner: Jessica Allingham, Lakehead University

Over the past two years as a coordinator at Lakehead University, Jessica has made tremendous progress in growing the Lakehead Let’s Talk Science site. She has tripled their engagement with youth, engaged 15 different Indigenous communities from Northern Ontario and established 26 new educator contacts. In addition to this, Jessica launched a monthly newsletter, social media channels and a podcast, further expanding the reach of Let’s Talk Science at Lakehead University.

Jess Allingham

“The growth of the program and breadth of activities initiated under Jessica’s leadership has been truly astonishing. She has identified funding opportunities that allowed her to build her coordinator team and has reached across numerous organizations to help build the program locally, as well as taken advantage of the move to online engagement in order to spearhead several national symposia.” -Michael D. Rennie, Associate Professor, Department of Biology, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay campus

Let’s Talk Science National Volunteer Award

This award recognizes an exceptional volunteer who has shown outstanding innovation, communication and a commitment to STEM education and outreach.

Winner: Anikka Swaby, McGill University

Anikka leveraged her knowledge and expertise as a registered dietician to develop the Good Gut Bacteria kit which has been added to her local Let’s Talk Science kit library and has been adapted for multiple symposiums and homeschool workshops.

Anikka Swaby

“Anikka has always had a clear commitment to sharing and communicating complex scientific concepts to students of all ages by adapting learning resources and terminology to the appropriate level and engaging with students through topics they are interested in. Her kit, Good Gut Bacteria, is a stellar example of this commitment as it has been used to explore the gut microbiome in our Let's Talk Microbiology symposium for Grades 4-6, and also in our Dinosaurs: A Brief History Through Time homeschool workshop series (Age 5-15) as a way to explore the similarities and differences in the diets of carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores.”


-Maxana Weiss and Keerthana Harwalkar, Let’s Talk Science Site Coordinators at McGill University

Indigenous Outreach Project Award, Let’s Talk Science Outreach

This award recognizes a collaboration between an Outreach site (or sites) and an Indigenous community that demonstrates a strong, positive impact on Indigenous youth through involvement in STEM-focused learning opportunities.

Winner: A tri-site partnership to support STEM learning in the Listuguj Mi'gmaq First Nation” –  University of Ottawa and Carleton University (Ottawa site), University of New Brunswick Saint John (UNB Saint John), University of New Brunswick Fredericton (UNB Fredericton)

This tri-site partnership has brought Let’s Talk Science programming to the Listuguj Mi’gmaq First Nation. This programming includes a science fair mentorship program, curriculum-aligned kits, community kits for after-school programs with Mi’gmaq teaching and an in-person visit to the Listuguj community.

Liquid In water bottle experiment

“This particular partnership means so much to me, as I get to incorporate First Nation stories with Let's Talk Science kits. These kits augment the stories that I have created online. I am so pleased with this process that I have asked my home community in Listuguj to join the partnership. And I have also made a commitment to continue with the relationship.”


-Patrick Wilmot, previous youth leader at the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health and current educator at Alaqsite'w Gitpu School’s after school program

Thank you to all of the applicants, and congratulations to the 2022 winners!

Learn more about our amazing volunteers and how you can join the Let’s Talk Science Outreach community on our website!