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UM wins the Science Rendezvous 2021 STEAM Big Award!

National recognition for outstanding science outreach efforts

February 16, 2022 — 

The UM has won the Science Rendezvous 2021 STEAM Big Award! 

The Science Rendezvous STEAM Big Award is national recognition for the team’s extraordinary vision and leadership as well as their commitment to creating a truly outstanding event.

“The enormous effort and dedication required to bring such an event to fruition cannot be understated. Science Rendezvous is honoured to have such dedicated individuals and groups share our vision and mission,” explains Katie Miller, Executive Director, Science Rendezvous.

The Science Rendezvous UM team embraced the challenge to STEAM Green in 2021, going above and beyond to promote the Million Tree Project through exciting initiatives and activities. A total of 4857 trees were planted by participants of the Manitoba School Tree Planting Challenge, launched on June 10th, 2021, as part of the Million Tree Project. Science Rendezvous volunteers, university staff and students received hundreds of additional trees, not included in this official count. The coordinating team had to face the challenges associated with COVID-19 restrictions but showed their resourcefulness and resilience by adapting their programming and arranging tree pick-ups for students. In the Fall of 2021, another tree giveaway event took place as part of NSERC Science Literacy Week and National Tree Day, resulting in the distribution of an additional 3012 trees! 

Over the course of these events, this coordinating team has expanded their outreach from eight to seventeen communities and engaged almost 60 schools. This project’s reach extended beyond the city limits, with half of the participating sites being in rural areas.

“I have always been a save the earth enthusiast, being part of a project that let me use my skills to facilitate a greener earth was a great opportunity for me. I want to thank my team and I appreciate the spirit of togetherness, especially with regards to the pandemic. Much to their credit we were able to bring this to life virtually to make the project a success. The diversity of students and the knowledge they contributed was amazing.

It warms my heart so much that our actions did not go to waste, seeing the project expand to over 60 schools who joined in this project and getting our hard work noticed. We are deeply honored to receive this award. Winning the Steam Green award and being a part of the team is a phenomenal part of my life that I will always remember and be proud of,” explains Annie Shad, student volunteer and Science Rendezvous team captain.

The coordinating team was also able to supply saplings to an arts centre, a local museum, and a First Nations community. As a result of these activities, the Million Tree Project has gained participants in 18 school divisions, representing 47% of the divisions in the province.

It should be noted that this coordinating team established important partnerships with local agencies which helped maximize the impact of these events. Manitoba Forestry’s Agriculture and Peatlands branch supplied 5000 saplings in addition to delivering trees to several rural schools and planting sites while Trees Winnipeg and Tree Canada helped promote the Million Tree Project through tree-planting events. Other notable connections and partners who supported these initiatives include CCUNESCO Schools, Science First, Parks Canada, Fort Whyte Alive, Shelmerdines Garden Centre and McNally Robinson Booksellers and Author Ariel Gordon



Beyond these events, this coordinating team organized a series of virtual public talks discussing important topics like climate, ecosystems, and climate change. These talks featured speakers from various disciplines and backgrounds and were moderated by Dr. Brian Mark, Dean, Faculty of Science. As part of Science Rendezvous, this coordinating team joined the Virtual Science Chase event, encouraging participants to tackle STEAM challenges with their friends and families. 


Shoal Lake

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  • Leigh McKinnon
    Community Outreach Lead , University of Manitoba
  • Jennifer MacRae
    Community Outreach Lead , University of Manitoba


  • University of Winnipeg
  • Ariel Gordon, Author of Treed: Walking in Canada’s Urban Forests and TreeTalk
  • Manitoba Agriculture & Resource Development (ARD)
  • Trees Winnipeg
  • Tree Canada
  • UNESCO Schools
  • Science First
  • University of Manitoba Herbarium – WIN Vascular Plant Collection
  • FortWhyte Alive
  • Shelmerdines Garden Centre
  • Assiniboine Park Conservatory
  • Manitoba Parks
  • McNally Robinson Booksellers
  • University of Manitoba Science Students Association
  • Elwick Community School
  • Ecole Riverview School
  • Ecole Margaret Underhill
  • Oakbank Elementary
  • J.A. Cuddy School
  • College Churchill High Schoo
  • West St Paul School
  • Elmwood School
  • Ecole Robert H. Smith School
  • Riverton Early Middle School
  • Fort Rouge School
  • Chancellor Elementary School
  • King Edward School
  • Ecole South Pointe
  • Buchanan School
  • Minnetonka School
  • Linden Christian School
  • General Byng School
  • Angus McKay School
  • Ecole River Heights
  • Brock Corydon School
  • O.V. Jewitt Community School
  • McLeod School
  • West Kildonan Collegiate
  • Leila North Community School
  • Seven Oaks Met School
  • Mitchell Elementary School
  • James Nisbet Community School
  • Ecole Templeton
  • Dakota Collegiate
  • Lake St. Martin Community
  • Manitou Elementary School
  • Elmwood High School
  • Rivers Collegiate
  • Ecole Dieppe
  • George Waters Middle School
  • Ecole Belmont
  • Bulla Arts International
  • Westgrove School
  • Shamrock School
  • Ste Rose School
  • F.W. Gilbert School
  • St. Gerard School
  • Poplar Point Colony School
  • Argyle Museum
  • Miami School
  • Rossburn Elementary School
  • Gimli High School
  • Westpark School
  • Warren Collegiate
  • Calvin Christian School
  • Collicut School
  • Riverdale School
  • Teulon Collegiate
  • Linden Meadows (UNESCO)
  • Ecole Harrison
  • Ecole Bannatyne
  • Shoal Lake School
  • Margaret Park School
  • Westdale Middle School

Interested in volunteering or learning more? 

Contact: Leigh McKinnon, email:

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