STEAM Horizon Awards: Catching up with Katiya Gareau-Jones

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Katiya Gareau-Jones

The Ingenium-NSERC STEAM Horizon Award recognizes innovative Canadian youth who promote positive changes throughout their community using science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM).

Every year, applicants are encouraged to approach 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.

Through a series of short profiles, the Ingenium Channel is catching up with some of the 2020 winners. They shared what they’ve been up to since their big wins, in the hopes of inspiring a new set of remarkable Canadian soon-to-be graduates to apply. 

Ingenium Channel (IC): Give us an update! What have you been working on since you won? Any school or personal projects (or future projects) in the works?

Katiya Gareau-Jones (KGJ): I’ve been studying full-time at Cambrian College, and I’ve been lucky enough to attend campus once a week for two laboratories. I’m really enjoying my program of Civil Engineering Technology! I’ve also been maintaining my part-time job at Home Hardware, working four times a week. I’m currently working on a promotional video for the I Love First Peoples organization, to bring awareness to the Friendship Campaign. This campaign is to help bring joy to the less fortunate First Nations youth in remote communities across Canada. This year, you can buy art kits online which will then be distributed to these children. For more information, visit I Love First Peoples.

After my first year of college, I started a full-time summer job with EXP in Sudbury (an engineering firm).

IC: Why did you decide to apply for a STEAM Horizon Award? What do you think set you apart in your application?

KGJ: I decided to apply to all the grants and awards, because you never know what you’ll win. I think what set me apart was the fact that I’m a diverse person. I played sports, involved myself in my community — like helping with the I Love First Peoples organization — and even owned my own company during the summer of 2018 (making and selling homemade dog and cat treats). Having all these experiences helped me grow into the person I am today.

“I think what set me apart was the fact that I’m a diverse person. I played sports, involved myself in my community — like helping with the I Love First Peoples organization — and even owned my own company.”

IC: Any advice for those considering applying, but may be feeling a little intimidated by the process?

KGJ: You shouldn’t be intimidated to apply by the process. Taking time out of your day to apply is giving you a chance to win, even if you don’t think you will. The application asks you many questions about yourself, like what you’ve accomplished and what sets you apart from others, which I think helps with self-reflection, and could help you answer other applications for bursaries and scholarships.

IC: As a past winner, would you consider yourself a STEAM ambassador? What makes someone a great STEAM leader?

KGJ: I would consider myself as a STEAM ambassador, because now I encourage other people to apply for the STEAM Horizon Awards. I never knew I could win something like this, and I’m so thankful. A great STEAM leader is someone who has integrity and humility, and encourages others to become leaders and reach their goals.

IC: What did you learn in the process of applying for the STEAM Horizon Awards?

KGJ: I learned that you’re capable of more things than you think. Writing down all my accomplishments for the application made me so much more grateful that I involved myself in all the things I did, with the help of my parents. Everyone should always maintain a growth mindset; you can do anything you set your mind to!

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Christine Clouthier

Christine Clouthier is the Strategic Communications Officer for Ingenium - Canada's Museums of Science and Innovation. With a background in communications, she is a passionate about uncovering and sharing unique stories that showcase how creative minds can spark innovation.