Aurora Research Institute STEM Outreach Team Wins 2023 Premier's Award

June, 27 2023

Aurora Research Institute STEM Outreach Team Wins 2023 Premier's Award

INUVIK, NT – Aurora College is proud to announce that its Aurora Research Institute (ARI) STEM Outreach team has received the 2023 Premier's Award in the Teams category for their exceptional work providing experiential Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education to youth and educators  across the Northwest Territories. The ARI STEM Outreach team has displayed innovation, creativity, service excellence, and a commitment to embracing inclusion and Traditional Knowledge in their work since 2016.

Each year, the Premier of the Northwest Territories recognizes GNWT employees and teams that demonstrate excellence, innovation, and dedication through the Premier's Awards.

During the past year, the STEM Outreach team has delivered more than 500 hands-on STEM events, engaging NWT youth nearly 10,000 times, in more than 25 communities across five regions. They have successfully mentored hundreds of NWT teachers, providing them with the skills and tools necessary to make STEM programming in their classrooms more hands-on and inquiry-driven. This has created a sustainable approach to expanding STEM educational opportunities, ultimately working towards improving employment and economic opportunities.

The team has received national recognition for their dedication to excellence, winning several prestigious awards. Their partnerships with regional school boards, Aurora College instructors and national organizations such as Actua, Let’s Talk Science, Polar Knowledge Canada and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) have enabled them to develop and deliver innovative and culturally appropriate programs, directly addressing the unique needs of Northern students and educators.

Committed to incorporating Indigenous Traditional Knowledge and northern settings into their programming, Outreach team has garnered support from Indigenous organizations, including the Gwich’in Tribal Council and the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation. Engaging students on the land, inviting Elders to share their knowledge, and establishing projects such as the ethnobotany educational garden in Inuvik have significantly contributed to promoting STEM education in a culturally relevant way.


We are proud of the accomplishments our STEM Outreach Team has achieved regionally and territorially.  The education and mentorship of students and teachers ignites experiential learning and affirms cultural values – a sharing that empowers the relevance of learning throughout the regions in the NWT.

- Joel McAlister, Vice President Research, Aurora College


Further information about the GNWT Premier's Award:


Aurora Research Institute (ARI) is the research division of Aurora College.  The mandate of ARI is to improve the quality of life for residents of the Northwest Territories by applying scientific, technological and Indigenous knowledge to solve northern problems and advance social and economic goals. To achieve this mandate ARI conducts and supports research throughout the NWT.  ARI is headquartered in Inuvik, and has regional research centres in Inuvik, Yellowknife and Fort Smith. Website:

The Aurora College STEM Outreach Program provides hands-on experiential STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) opportunities to students, educators and community members across the Northwest Territories. Aurora College provides these opportunities early and often, year-round on-the-ground, and in the places where NWT residents learn, play, and gather. The goals of the program are to bring local students and educators year-round access to curriculum-based, hands-on science activities and resources and to northern science professionals and their work; and to do this in the classroom, in the communities and on the land. The program offers hands-on learning experiences for NWT youth; training, equipment and support for teachers; family-oriented science promotion events for communities; and plain-language research talks, connecting NWT residents with northern researchers.


For more information, please contact:

Jayne Murray                                                                          
Manager, Communications & College Relations 
Aurora College                                                             
Phone: 867-872-7021