STAN 2021: #STANdTogether

Virtual Conference • February 23-25, 2021

The Science and Technology Awareness Network held its first fully virtual Conference! Our delegates met online

to network and recharge. We tried to adopt a lens of hope and collaboration, in an effort to highlight the resiliency of our members in the face of the adversity we were facing through the Covid-19 pandemic.

We discussed our community's spirit of perseverance and adaptability in the face of a global shift. We dove into topics such as improving all lives through STEAM, adapting to virtual-based business models in STEM and education, and best platforms and tools to use when working from home, among others. 

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2020 Sparking Curiosity

The 2020 Conference was focused on the future of STEAM, and how to engage youth and the public in science through outreach. Our two-day event was held in Calgary, AB, on February 26 and 27, 2020 at TELUS Spark. With a focus on networking opportunities, we also hosted seminars, panel discussions, and breakout sessions. The majority of our sessions were populated via a Call for Proposals that went out in October 2019. This proved to be an excellent model for planning Conference, and STAN aims to continue this way in the future. 

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2019 Full STEAM for Sustainability

Science literacy in support of sustainable development

Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa ON
March 28 & 29, 2019

The Science and Technology Awareness Network hosted a conference built around Canada’s role in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out by the United Nations.


The Sustainable Development Goals are a call for action by all countries – poor, rich and middle-income – to promote prosperity while protecting the planet.” — United Nations


Answers to many of the challenges we are facing across the globe, including environmental protection, health, education, and social equity may lie in the sciences. Therefore, STAN designed this Conference program for STEAM professionals, specifically through this lens. We explored the research and outreach Canadians being undertaken in support of studying and caring for our planet, giving our delegates the tools needed to align their work with the SDGs and promote greater public science literacy.


For the morning of March 29, STAN organised three optional cultural visits in the Ottawa region, giving STAN members unique behind-the-scenes access to the Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum, the Canadian Museum of Nature's Natural Heritage Campus (archives), or the Hydro Generating Station 2 on Victoria Island.

This conference was supported nationally by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.


Was presented under the patronage of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO


Building Bridge & Connecting Communities | STAN 2018

On April 11, 2018, 75 STAN delegates convened in beautiful Vancouver, BC at Science World at TELUS World of Science, to discuss the future of STEAM across Canada. The Conference followed a successful, blended model developed by STAN in recent years including keynote speakers, panel discussions and unconference sessions. STAN members engaged in conversations and presentations focused on the power of collaboration, the future of STEM learning, accessibility and inclusivity.

This was STAN’s first time hosting a conference outside of Ontario, and our membership benefited from outreach to new organisations and professionals. We also partnered with the Science Writers and Communicators of Canada (SWCC) to host a joint Bridge Day between our respective conference schedule for delegates of both annual, national events on April 12.  Groups of delegates took part in excursions to TRIUMF, the Centre for Drug Research and Development, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans as well as behind the scenes tours of TELUS World of Science. The Bridge Day culminated in an evening event, presented by SWCC, featuring PowerPoint Karaoke, Curiosity Collider and Science Slam and serves as the kick off for the SWCC’s multi-day conference.

STAN is grateful for NSERC support of its 2018 Conference.

STEM 150: Looking Ahead

STAN 2017

The 2017 STAN Conference welcomed more than 100 participants at the Ontario Science Centre. 
The conference committee adopted a hybrid approach and included traditional sessions and ‘unconference’ sessions.

Derek Phillips, Engineering Director at Google helped launch the day. Watch the video below to hear how he engaged the network in a discussion of leadership in STEM and how we can shape the future of STEM. You’ll see how he emphasizes that collaboration is key, and that we have no excuse; it’s simply no longer effective or okay not to collaborate. Derek shared the four attributes he believes will make people successful, attributes of the next STEM Leader:​ Curiosity, Flexibility, Empathy and Passion.

You can no longer pretend that the only experts are the ones sitting in the same room as you.

Panel:  STEM Learning in a technology and digital filled future

Moderated by Tracy Ross, see how panelists Tomi Poutanen, Melissa Sariffodeen and Sara Diamond share their thoughts on what the future holds in this new era and the skills needed to succeeds.

❛Diverse perspectives from different sectors and societies can help drive and influence STEM, whether it be by the integration of digital media, design, arts or indigenous culture.❜

Our unconference sessions were a favourite of many participants but were not recorded.

Panel:  Driving national impact through networking and partnerships

Panelists shared examples of initiatives and how networking and partnerships were critical to these efforts.  Jesse Hildebrand spoke of Science Literacy Week, Bonnie Schmidt shared the Canada 2067 project while Judy Paron spoke of Science Odyssey.

❛Partners can help expand your network to mobilize a larger community.❜

The day wrapped up with our final keynote by Brandy Callahan who shared her thoughts on setting women up for success in neuroscience and psychology from the current status, to challenges and what needs to be done to optimize potential for the future. Brandy shared how, historically speaking, these are fields dominated by men. While junior positions are widely held by women, ore senior level positions are held by men --women abandon science before they are promoted. Why is this?

Brandy shares insight on funding gaps, struggles with prestige, power and authorship positions and the cyclical influences of these. She also shares thoughts on “imposter phenomenon” and what can be done to improve these situations including offering support, speaking up, addressing issues, and promoting honest dialogue. 

❛Imposter phenomenon: An intense feeling of professional inadequacy, regardless of objective measures of success.❜

STAN is grateful for NSERC support of its 2017 Conference.

STAN 2014