Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
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Past Winners



2003 NSERC Awards for Science Promotion

Native Access to Engineering Programme
Concordia University

Ms. Corinne Mount Pleasant-JettéThe Native Access to Engineering Programme was established in 1993 to encourage more Aboriginal students to enter the engineering profession in Canada. At the outset, NAEP was aimed primarily at Aboriginal students in Québec, who attended summer engineering camps, but by promoting an understanding of science, mathematics, engineering and technology, it has evolved into a multi-dimensional programme providing hardcopy and electronic resources and activities for teachers, parents, and Aboriginal young people, as well as for the engineering profession and academia across Canada.

Royal Astronomical Society of Canada

In 2003, the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada is celebrating its Royal Centenary by enticing thousands of people from all walks of life into exploring the universe and its "astonishing beauty." With an imaginative array of activities and resources, more than 4,600 enthusiastic volunteers in 26 centres across the country are taking science to parks, community festivals, malls, and even wineries, sharing their knowledge and passion for astronomy.

Students on Ice

Students on IceAlthough Students on Ice is still a very young organization, founded only four years ago, it is a remarkable model of innovation that inspires thousands of secondary school students to dream about joining international educational expeditions to the waters of the Arctic or Antarctic.

Since 1999, Students on Ice has carried out five educational expeditions and has helped introduce some 250 students, teachers, and scientists to the polar oceans while aboard icebreakers that have been converted to provide living quarters, laboratories, and classrooms. Participants from across Canada and around the world grapple with the key environmental issues affecting the planet and learn about scientific research, guided by some of the world's top experts in oceanography, botany, marine biology, environmental sciences, geomorphology, flora and fauna, history, glaciology, etc.

For young participants, an expedition is generally the first step in a long adventure that is likely to have a major impact on their lives. These students in turn become inspired models of perseverance and determination, and ambassadors for science and conservation.

Successful partnerships, media and Web site coverage, and outreach programs have allowed thousands of other Canadians, both young and old, to share the Students on Ice experience and learn about our planet's Polar Regions. The many exciting outcomes of this program are too numerous to mention, but put simply, they give cause for hope!

Students on Ice has been welcomed enthusiastically by the international press, general public, and scientific community alike. The organization is preparing to launch new programs in partnership with several Canadian universities. We feel that the sky is the limit for this dynamic organization.

Philip C. Eastman

Philip C. EastmanFor more than 30 years, Philip C. Eastman, a professor of physics at the University of Waterloo, has brought his passion for physics to seniors, libraries, scouting groups, children and church groups through his "circus of physics" presentations. In 1969 he created the Sir Isaac Newton exam, a mix of challenging physics questions and offbeat humour. Many of today's young scientists and high-tech talent remember the fun of taking the test, and it remains an important legacy of Dr. Phil's to this day.

Scott Mair

Scott MairOver his 20-year career, Mr. Scott Mair has developed an international reputation for creativity, innovation and excellence in the development, delivery and management of science promotional activities and educational programming. He has brought the wonder and fun of science to literally hundreds of thousands of Canadians and shared his expertise with countless other science promotion professionals.

Mr. Mair was a pioneer in bringing theatre and science promotion together as part of his work with Alberta Parks. He forged partnerships and founded the Evergreen Co-Op Theatre which continues its work today. Building on his early work, he launched into leadership with the Royal Tyrell Museum of Palaeontology and has most recently taken on the role of Site Manager/Curator at the Craigflower National Historic Site, a property of The Land Conservancy.

His achievements in building strong educational programming and sharing his expertise with others have been recognized as best practices by science teachers and interpreters across Canada. Mr. Mair continues to share his innovative ideas on informal science education through published articles and consulting work with parks, museums and other organizations across North America.

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