Celebrate Canada’s most innovative young minds - in steampunk style!

On May 17th, Ottawa’s business and technology leaders will have an opportunity to meet some of Canada’s brightest young minds at the presentation of the first ever STEAM Horizon Awards at the National Science and Innovation Gala.

Funded by the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation Foundation and six founding partners, the awards celebrate the important contributions of Canada’s youth in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM). Seven high-school students will each be awarded a $25,000 prize to go towards their post-secondary education. Recipients are leaders, achievers and innovators with determination to make a positive impact in their communities. More than 200 young people applied.

To mark the occasion, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum will be transformed into a steampunk laboratory for the National Science and Innovation Gala. Taking us back to Confederation during the 19th century Victorian steam era there will be a mashup of Victorian era fashion, steam powered technology and futuristic innovation.

At stations throughout the museum, guests will be able to see and test technological creations by teams of students from Algonquin College, the University of Ottawa and Carleton University. There will be six virtual reality zones to delve into experiences such as flying a steampunk plane. Guests will be able to test drive autonomous vehicles, enter a drone race or drive a rover developed to withstand the rigors of Mars. Chef Michael Blackie - of nextfood.com, Celebrity Chefs of Canada and the Food Network’s Chef- off! - will be on hand offering food and beverages while you dance the night away to steampunk music.

Amid this scene of motion and sound, a panel discussion will take place with government, youth, and technology leaders on how to build a better Canada. Industry partners have enthusiastically come forward to partner with the students – recognizing the value of supporting and connecting with some of the young stars from local academic institutions. The opportunity for students to network with the innovation community and vice-versa has been a win-win.

This is an opportunity for Ottawa’s business and technology leaders to meet these promising young innovators and discuss Canada’s future with government and corporate leaders. It’s an event not to be missed!

The gala takes place on May 17th at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. Doors open at 5:30 pm. Early bird tickets are available until March 31st at scienceinnovationgala.ca.

Fern Proulx is Chief Operating Officer of the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation. Proulx has been involved in the operations of several of Canada’s national museums for the past 25 years. He and his wife reside in Gatineau, Quebec.