Awards program seeks Canada’s brightest young minds

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Ingenium - Canada's Museums of Science and Innovation
Ella Chan, one of the winners of last year's STEAM Horizon Awards.

The final search is on to find this year’s most inspiring Canadian teens — with a passion for science and technology.

The 2019 STEAM Horizon Awards invite youth ages 16 to 18 to promote positive changes throughout their communities using science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM). The application deadline for this year’s awards program is January 16, 2019.

“Our aim is to inspire a new generation of young Canadians with the same spirit of creativity and curiosity that we uphold in our three national museums,” says Christina Tessier, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ingenium – Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation. “It’s also an opportunity to honour those forward-thinking youth who are giving back to their communities, using their knowledge and skills in STEAM.”

Now in its third year, the STEAM Horizon Awards program offers each of its five winners a $25,000 prize towards post-secondary education, with two of the five prizes going to Indigenous youth. The prizes are funded by the Ingenium Foundation, a national foundation supporting the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, and the Canada Science and Technology Museum. Funding is also supported by a group of award sponsors, including the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Indspire, Lockheed Martin, and Syncrude.

Applicants are encouraged to get creative with their applications. They can illustrate their passion for technology and science from any angle, whether from an art and design perspective, research project, public outreach, or development of a new idea or product. A short video — outlining the applicant’s achievements and outreach capabilities — is one of the application requirements. Full application details are available on the STEAM Horizon Awards website.

Ella Chan was one of last year’s STEAM Horizon Award winners. She says the award is helping her pursue her dream of becoming a medical researcher.

“I hope to be on the path to medical research in Nephrotic Syndrome and other autoimmune conditions,” says Chan, who has a brother that was diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome. “Winning the STEAM Horizon Award has helped me attend the University of British Columbia, where I am currently studying sciences.”

Chan is also a STEAM advocate; she is the creator of a YouTube video series called Sci Files.

“The series aims to educate about and encourage a love for all STEAM subjects,” says Chan of Sci Files, adding her target audience is children ages three to eight. “I believe it is important to share my experiences and knowledge about the sciences with others, in order to help engage and inspire young children to see how they too can participate in STEAM subjects; I want to show them that no matter who you are — or how old you are — you can get involved!”

After winning her award last year, Chan posted a video about the STEAM Horizon Awards.

All submitted applications will be reviewed by a selection committee, and recommendations will be made to a selection board. After the selection process is complete in March 2019, applications will be notified of the award decisions. Winners will be invited to Ottawa, where they will be recognized for their achievements at the foundation’s award ceremony in April 2019.

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Sonia Mendes

Sonia Mendes is the English Writer/Editor for Ingenium. She loves digging behind the scenes to tell the quirky, colourful stories of museum life and all things related to science and innovation.