Youth STEM and Community Outreach

Outreach pages directory:

1. About Outreach Services

2. Youth STEM and Community Science Outreach (current page)

3. Speaker Series


Youth STEM Outreach serving the Beaufort Delta and the North & South Slave Lake Regions of the NWT

The Aurora Research Institute's (ARI) STEM Outreach Program is an award-winning program dedicated to fostering interest and education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) for communities in the Northwest Territories. The program offers engaging, hands-on experiences for students and educators, while prioritizing remote and underserved areas. ARI's diverse STEM initiatives include computer coding, 3D printing, GIS workshops, physics, and chemistry.

Through professional development training for teachers (STEM outreach kit and the lending library) and direct student outreach, ARI aims to create sustainable STEM education opportunities, inspiring future generations to pursue careers in these fields and contribute to the region's economic and social development. In the last calendar year alone, we impacted students across the NWT over 10,000 times with 500+ hands-on events in over 25 communities. 

Our STEM Outreach initiatives include:

  1. School visits: At the heart of our outreach services are school visits. Since 2016, we've conducted hundreds of visits, bringing interactive workshops, presentations, and demonstrations to ignite curiosity and fuel a passion for STEM. We customize our content to address community needs, covering a wide range of topics from natural sciences like physics, chemistry, and biology to innovative subjects such as GIS drone mapping, coding, and 3D printing. We take immense pride in incorporating traditional Indigenous knowledge and science into our communities and continuously aim to create programming that reflects a northern context.
  2. Serving rural communities: Our ARI outreach team understands the distinct challenges faced by northern educators, such as limited access to resources, professional development opportunities, and the impact of geographical isolation. We're delighted to serve all communities throughout the NWT, even the most remote ones, and can reach them by vehicle or airplane. Our list of communities served encompasses, but is not limited to: Sachs Harbour, Ulukhaktok, Paulatuk, Tsiigehtchic, Fort McPherson, Aklavik, Łutsel K'e, Kakisa, Gamètì, Kátł’odeeche, Fort Good Hope, Fort Resolution, Fort Providence, Tulita, Dettah, N'dilo, Tuktoyaktuk, Norman Wells, Behchoko, Fort Simpson, Hay River, Fort Smith, Inuvik, and Yellowknife.
  3. Community Events: We eagerly take part in local community events and fairs, highlighting the marvels of STEM with captivating exhibits and interactive activities. Some of the events we proudly participate in are: Science Rendezvous, GIS Day (GeoWeek), Pi Day (March 14th annually), Spooky Science (Halloween), Bioblitz, World Ocean's Day, telescope parties, and more.
  4. Summer Camps: In the past, we have collaborated with STEM organizations to offer enriching summer camps, giving students a chance to delve into various STEM fields, engage in exciting experiments, and sharpen their problem-solving abilities.
  5. Resources for teachers and educators: We're dedicated to creating and offering valuable STEM-related educational resources, encompassing dynamic lesson plans, engaging activity guides, and interactive multimedia content tailored for teachers, students, and parents. Our innovative "Train the Teacher, Loan the Gear" program provides free training and classroom kits to teachers, enabling them to deliver immersive STEM experiences in remote communities and supplementing our in-person outreach initiatives. Our enthusiastic team collaborates with regional school divisions, Aurora College, and the Northwest Territories Teachers Association conference, proudly engaging with 125 inspiring NWT educators last year.

To get in touch with one of our regional STEM outreach coordinators please contact: 

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)


Community Outreach (and speaker series)

The Aurora Research Institute (ARI) is committed to making a positive impact on local communities through adult-focused community outreach initiatives beyond our speaker series. ARI organizes a variety of workshops, hands-on learning experiences, and training sessions tailored to address the unique needs and interests of adults in the region.

By providing adults with opportunities to enhance their understanding of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, ARI aims to foster a culture of lifelong learning and empower community members to take an active role in addressing regional challenges, such as climate change, sustainable resource management, and the preservation of Indigenous culture.

Collaborative projects with Indigenous communities are a cornerstone of ARI's outreach initiatives, enabling the integration of traditional knowledge with scientific research. This approach promotes cross-cultural learning, mutual understanding, and the development of locally relevant solutions.

ARI's adult outreach programs also include capacity-building initiatives, such as professional development workshops for educators, training courses in specialized skills like GIS mapping, and collaborations with local organizations to address community-specific needs.

Through these diverse outreach efforts, the Aurora Research Institute cultivates a network of engaged, knowledgeable, and proactive community members who contribute to the sustainable development and well-being of the Northwest Territories.

Please keep an eye on our Facebook page to see when an opportunity that interest you pops up!