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Winners

Dr. Kevin Hewitt – Dalhousie University

Dr. Kevin HewittDr. Kevin Hewitt is the recipient of the 2021 NSERC Award for Science Promotion (Individual).

A professor of Physics and Chair of Senate at Dalhousie University, Dr. Hewitt’s This link will take you to another Web site passion is to foster interest in and access to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) for students of African descent in Nova Scotia.

He was instrumental in creating the This link will take you to another Web site Dalhousie University’s Imhotep Legacy Academy (ILA), an innovative university-community partnership that bridges the achievement gap for This link will take you to another Web site students of African heritage in grades six to 12. Thanks to his leadership, the ILA has attracted more African Nova Scotian students - over 800 - to STEM fields in the past decade than Dalhousie Universityhas done in two-centuries.

Dr. Hewitt has also delivered over forty invited science education presentations at conferences internationally. Recognition of his work includes invitations to the American Physical Society and features on the radio, television, and in print. In his research in bionanophotonics, Dr. Hewitt has supervised 12 honours students, 28 summer students, three MSc, and five Ph.D. students as they research the use of laser light scattering technique for the diagnosis of early stages of cancer, as well as the use of the combinatorial method to search for new superconductors.

His remarkable contributions to the world of science do not stop in the lab or with science outreach. He was a part of the first Canadian institutional investigation, with President Richard Florizone the Lord Dalhousie Scholarly panel, of the This link will take you to another Web site founder’s links to racism and slavery. Shedding light on systemic racism within Canada, Dr. Hewitt has also co-authored a report on Indigenous and African Canadian student access and retention.

Dr. Hewitt is also the first African Canadian to win the University of Toronto’s Scarborough College Physics prize, and he has been recognized nationally with the Harry Jerome Award for Professional Excellence, and provincially with the Discovery Centre Science Champion Award.

University of Ottawa Faculty of Engineering Outreach Team

University of Ottawa Faculty of Engineering Outreach TeamThe University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Engineering Outreach Team is the recipient of this year’s NSERC Award for Science Promotion (Group), thanks to its success in delivering science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programming to K-12 girls and young women in the Ottawa and Gatineau region. With more than 48,000 students each year, the team operates the largest university K-12 STEM outreach effort in Canada.

The outreach team focuses on providing underserved youth hands on STEM experiences that expose them to real laboratories, tools, and rapid prototyping technologies. Through its fleet of makerspaces on wheels called “Maker Mobiles”, it brings innovative programming and technologies to underserved rural, urban and indigenous communities in the hopes of fostering interest for STEM careers. Through these visits, the team provides free weeks of camp for indigenous and refugee children, while administering bursaries for families in need.

Based on the team’s remarkable efforts, the Ministry of Education of Ontario in 2018 awarded the Team credit-granting authority, providing high school credits to students in Grades 9, 10, and 11. This allows the team to design custom programs, such as its all-girl computer science courses, which connects young women with industry mentors, while exposing students to advanced content which may not be available at their high school. The team’s latest endeavor aims to open source all its content, courses and training as a means of providing educators, the necessary skills, materials and training in the hopes of increasing design, engineering and computer science literacy across Canada.