Arctic Ingenuity

March 4, 2015

Actua’s network members and Outreach Team travel far and wide each year engaging more than 225,000 youth in 500 communities across every province and territory in dynamic transformational (science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education programming.

Actua’s Outreach Team, travels to a number of remote locations, from the boreal forest of northern Ontario to the northern tip of Baffin Island. The logistics of getting to and from these remote locations can be challenging, especially in the winter months when the weather is less than cooperative. From Arctic blizzards to minus 50 degree temperatures and missing supply bins, Actua’s Outreach Team doesn’t let anything get in the way of delivering high-quality STEM programming. This is part of our commitment to providing life-changing STEM experiences for ALL youth regardless of where they live.

I was reminded of this dedication when I received a status report from one of our on-the-road teams en-route to a northern fly-in destination. This week, and throughout the month of March, Actua’s Outreach Team is delivering in-school workshops reaching Inuit youth in several Nunavut communities. Our team landed successfully in Cambridge Bay on Monday, but unfortunately the supply bins of workshop materials did not. The team did not let this prevent workshops from happening. Due to our strong community relationships and quick thinking on the part of our instructors, workshops were able to continue in the community. Our innovative instructors took the opportunity to pilot our new Codemakers  content by facilitating unplugged computer science workshops with the students. Community members supported instructors by bringing them to local stores to find substitute supplies, and teachers rearranged their class schedules to accommodate new workshop times.

I am privileged to work with a wealth of dedicated individuals every single day, and cannot express how critical they are in the success of our programming. These individuals and communities share our vision, support our mission, and help turn speedbumps into stepping stones along the road to helping young people achieve their potential.

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