Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) have a current spotlight in the world of innovation. However, organizations and schools are looking to add an "A" to that acronym to emphasize the importance of art in problem-solving, team building and out-of-the-box thinking.
For IndigeSTEAM, an organization providing Indigenous-led and culturally-relevant STEAM programming, the "A" can stand for architecture, agriculture and other areas that Indigenous peoples have been innovators in for thousands of years.
Last October, the IndigeSTEAM team headed to Dubai and competed on behalf of Canada, placing 80th out of 189 teams worldwide—the highest ranking to date for a team representing Canada.
"Because of the culture and what they've been taught by their elders, they can look at things in more of a full circle," Sheila Norris a Métis member of IndigeSTEAM says of her team in an interview with CBC. "We want to bring [Indigenous youth] into STEM, because that's where our future is, that's where the youth's future is."
The other female members of their team include Shantel from Kainai First Nation, as well as Tara-Shay and Tia from Siksika First Nation.
Dr. Elizabeth Croft
“I can see a lot of things that robots can do to make our world better.”
Dr. Elizabeth Croft is Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Associate Dean, Education and Professional Development for the Faculty of Applied Science at UBC.
As director of the Collaborative Advanced Robotics and Intelligent Systems (CARIS) Laboratory, Dr. Croft investigates how robotic systems can behave, are perceived to behave and how people interact with and understand robotic systems. Applications of this work range from manufacturing assembly to healthcare and assistive technology.
Elizabeth received a Peter Wall Early Career Scholar award in 2001, the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists (BC) Professional Service Award in 2005, the Award for the Support of Women in the Engineering Profession, Canadian Council of Professional Engineers in 2006, an NSERC Accelerator award in 2007, a YWCA Women of Distinction Award in 2013, and one of WXN’s top 100 most powerful women in Canada.
"We now have the opportunity to unlock even greater equality if we make social change a priority and not an afterthought."