About Outreach: Science in Our Communities

Since first opening our doors in 1964 as the Scientific Research Laboratory, the Aurora Research Institute (ARI) has been committed to guiding our community in matters related to science, technology, and research. In the early days when Inuvik was just beginning to grow and TVs and theaters were scarce, ARI brought people together by hosting casual movie nights on Fridays and providing a space for the town's first hall meetings, where exciting ideas for the library and arena were shared and discussed.

Today, we continue to cherish our connections with Inuvik residents by organizing engaging public research lectures (speaker series) and offering fun science outreach activities for kids and adults alike. Our rich history as a central part of the community has inspired our mission to make life better for NWT residents by using a blend of scientific, technological, and indigenous knowledge to tackle northern challenges and foster social and economic growth.

Throughout the years, change has been a constant, but our dedication to supporting research and discovery in the western Arctic has remained unwavering. We're always excited to help answer northern research questions and to share the fascinating results with our northern neighbors. We're excited to continue nurturing this dynamic spirit in the Beaufort Delta, North and South Slave Lake regions, and beyond, operating from our ARI locations in Inuvik, Yellowknife, and Fort Smith. We look forward to sustaining this energy for the next 60 years and more!

Outreach pages directory:

1. About Outreach Services (current page)

2. Youth STEM and Community Science Outreach

3. Speaker Series

Award Winning Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) outreach

The ARI STEM Outreach team is dedicated to enhancing STEM education opportunities for underserved and remote communities across the Northwest Territories. In the last calendar year, this territory-wide team from our Inuvik, Fort Smith, and Yellowknife offices successfully conducted over 500 hands-on STEM and science events, positively impacting nearly 10,000 students in over 25 communities across 5 regions. Their wide-ranging programs include computer coding, 3D printing, GIS workshops, physics, and chemistry. Additionally, the team trains numerous teachers in integrating STEM programming into their classrooms, thereby ensuring a sustainable approach to education.

The team's dedication to excellence has been nationally recognized with awards such as the "Making a Difference" Award in 2019 and the Actua Experience Teacher Training Award in 2022 for their "Train the Teacher, Loan the Gear" program. In 2023, the ARI STEM Outreach team won the GNWT Premier's Award (Team Excellence). By fostering strong partnerships and utilizing innovative approaches, the ARI STEM Outreach team plays a crucial role in preparing the next generation for the estimated 25,000 STEM-related job vacancies in the NWT that will emerge in the next 15 years, enhancing employment and economic opportunities for communities in the region.

Please visit our STEM Outreach page if you're a teacher or educator interested in inviting us to your classroom, or if you'd like to learn more about our programs and offerings.


Community Speaker Series

Please join us for the Aurora Research Institute's (ARI) annual speaker series, where experts in climate science, ecology, anthropology, and traditional Indigenous knowledge share their insights on the challenges and opportunities facing the Northwest Territories. This engaging initiative covers diverse topics, including climate change, wildlife conservation, Indigenous culture, and sustainable resource management. All talks are plain language and community orientated meaning no technical knowledge is required to come and learn more about the scientific research in our communities. 

The ARI Speaker Series not only presents cutting-edge research but also fosters collaboration between scientists, Indigenous communities, policymakers, and the public. By facilitating dialogue and partnerships, the series drives innovative solutions to the region's challenges and inspires the next generation of Northern researchers.

Since 2020, the ARI Speaker Series has offered both in-person and virtual events, ensuring accessibility for all interested attendees. Be sure to visit our Facebook page for details on upcoming events, including topics, dates, and times.

To learn more, please visit our speaker series page and our Facebook page

Community Outreach 

Please visit our community outreach page to learn more about the outreach we do outside of the youth STEM outreach and the speaker series

The Aurora Research Institute (ARI) also offers adult-focused community outreach initiatives, including workshops, training sessions, and collaborations with Indigenous communities. ARI aims to enhance adults' understanding of STEM fields, foster lifelong learning, and empower individuals to address regional challenges. ARI's capacity-building initiatives include professional development for educators, specialized skills training, and partnerships with local organizations. By cultivating an engaged network of community members, ARI contributes to the sustainable development and well-being of the Northwest Territories. Follow ARI's Facebook page for upcoming opportunities.

Contact Us!

For any inquiries, questions, or feedback regarding our STEM outreach programs, our engaging speaker series, or our community outreach services, don't hesitate to reach out to the Aurora Research Institute's STEM Outreach Coordinators. Proudly serving the Beaufort Delta and the North and South Slave Lake regions, we operate from our facilities in Inuvik, Yellowknife, and Fort Smith. We're eager to engage with you and support your journey into the fascinating world of STEM.

Our speaker series offers an exciting opportunity to hear from leading scientists, researchers, and professionals in the STEM fields, designed to inspire, inform, and spark curiosity. Furthermore, our community outreach services aim to connect science and research with the local community, fostering a mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources.

Whether you're in the Beaufort Delta, North or South Slave Lake regions, or beyond, we're committed to providing you with enriching and enlightening STEM experiences. If you want to know more about upcoming events, speakers, or how to participate in any of our programs or services, we're just a call or an email away:

Kelly Kamo McHugh
ARI Outreach Coordinator
Western Arctic Research Center (Inuvik)

Hilary Turko
ARI Outreach Coordinator
South Slave Research Centre (Fort Smith)
(867) 872-8072

Chris Black
ARI Outreach Coordinator
North Slave Research Centre (Yellowknife)