Aurora Research Institute’s Stem outreach team wins national award

The Aurora Research Institute Stem outreach team has won a national award for excellence in teacher training.

The institute’s four outreach coordinators across the NWT – Annika Trimble, Hilary Turko, Chris Black, and Kelly Kamo McHugh – are co-recipients for their work training and equipping teachers to deliver experiential science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (Stem) programming.

Each year, Actua – the country’s largest Stem outreach organization – presents the Actua Experience Award in one of its program areas. In 2022, the award was dubbed Excellence in Teacher Training.


The Stem outreach team at Aurora Research Institute, or ARI, was recognized for its development of a “train the teacher, loan the gear” program that began during the Covid-19 pandemic and has continued to expand.

A news release from Aurora College said the program at its research division “trains teachers to deliver experiential Stem programming in communities the ARI team can’t regularly reach or travel to, and loans classroom kits to those teachers free of charge.”

In addition, the outreach team gives one-on-one training to teachers across the NWT and trains students in the college’s early learning and childcare diploma program on how to deliver age-appropriate Stem programming.

The team also worked with 125 educators at the NWT Teachers’ Association conference in October 2022.

“The ARI Stem outreach team has shown creativity, innovation and a deep understanding of the unique local needs to develop Stem activities that captivate and educate northern students,” Aurora College stated.


“What began as a response to the challenges of the pandemic has grown into an exciting, thriving program that provides important supports for teachers and students across the NWT.”