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Dawn Pratt

STEM Consultant
Askenootow STEM
Dawn Pratt avec ses filles au Centre spatial de Houston

Dawn Pratt with her daughters at the Space Center Houston, Houston Texas.

Dawn Pratt avec ses filles au Centre spatial de Houston

Dawn Pratt with her daughters at the Space Center Houston, Houston Texas.

Location Born
Location Now
Education Pathway
Indigenous

I develop programs and STEM content and advise on the development of STEM programs.

About me

I was born/grew up in: Treaty 4 Territory in Regina, Saskatchewan

I now live in: Treaty 6 Territory in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

I completed my training/education at: I have a B.Sc. in chemistry from the University of Regina/First Nations University of Canada and a M.Sc. in chemistry from the University of Saskatchewan.

What I do at work

I organize and recruit Indigenous speakers for Educator Professional Development virtual sessions. I review documents to keep on top of goals and objectives of work that needs to be completed. I also do partnership follow-ups, planning for the next year in regards to science fairs, school mobile visits, and content development. I am always on my computer working on documents or in Zoom meetings.

A lot of my work is deciding how to best move forward in STEM programming and addressing funding challenges. I make lots of decisions all day every day and I am always providing feedback. My background in STEM helps me in developing needed STEM programming for Indigenous youth. I am also seen as a mentor to future STEMists.

I work as part of a team and we all have different STEM programs to guide. I interact mostly on the computer with the team. I only use English at work because that's the only language I was taught. I am trying to learn my own language, Saulteaux.

My career path is

I always expected to be working in the science and math areas of study because I enjoyed learning these subjects. I have a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Science degree both in chemistry. I have a minor in mathematics. My career path has always involved science as well as education and communication. I have taught adult basic education courses and I have worked as a laboratory teaching assistant at the university level. I have also taught chemistry at the university level. Before I founded Askenootow STEM, I was a science consultant for the Saskatoon Tribal Council.

My parents influenced me through a chemistry kit they purchased for me when I was in grade 4. Ever since that day, I have pursued a lifelong career of chemistry. During my undergraduate program, I worked in the lab throughout the summers and performed research in the laboratory. I really enjoyed being in the lab - it was my playground. I overcame many challenges through my perseverance and passion I have for science.

I am motivated by

Everything about my career gets me excited. This includes organizing STEM field trips, to working with teachers, to going into a classroom. I love everything about anything that has to do with STEM! I love listening to the Elders and I love listening to our Indigenous languages and learning the translations. This career is perfect me for me because I see there is a need for more Indigenous STEM professionals.  I like helping Indigenous youth understand western science world through their Indigenous worldview. I love being able to see both perspectives.

How I affect peoples’ lives

I love helping teachers and students in experiential hands-on STEM workshops. My career matters because I try to be visible to Indigenous youth who may not know any other Indigenous STEM professionals. I inspire teachers who inspire their students.

Outside of work I

I spend my time with my two young daughters. We travel and visit science centres, go to parks and water spray parks. We enjoy frozen yogurt and bubble teas. I teach them to play musical instruments, paint and build Lego. We go to where the sand and water meet and we go swimming

My advice to others

Study hard. Stay focused on the present and don’t worry about the past or future. Never stop learning.

I am Indigenous

p>I am a member of the Muscowpetung Saulteaux First Nation.

 

When I was a student, I enjoyed:
  • Math
  • Science
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
  • Always wanted to be outside
  • Wanted to be in charge
  • Liked being given free range to explore my ideas
  • Liked reading
  • Never wanted to be in the classroom
  • Learned best "by doing"

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