Joining the winner's circle
Regional partnership earns award of excellence

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

RANKIN INLET (May 05/99) - The partnership between business, education and the Kivalliq Regional Science Fair was acknowledged at the national level last month.

It was awarded the 1999 Royal Bank Partners in Education Award for the Northern territories as part of the Conference Board of Canada's Award for Business-Education Partnerships program.

The Conference Board of Canada's National Business and Education Centre was created in 1990 to conduct research, communicate results, facilitate dialogue and recognize excellence in support of Canada's publicly funded education system.

The centre's mission is to help business and education leaders work collaboratively to promote the development of a learning society to prepare Canada's youth for a changing world.

Baker Lake teacher Bill Cooper was among the delegates who travelled to Toronto to appear in the winner's circle on behalf of the Science Fair and its partners.

Cooper said every year the Kivalliq Regional Science Fair gets more elaborate and students find the activities challenging, interesting and fun. During the past three years, Keewatin students have won one medal, two awards and two honourable mentions at the Canada-wide Science Fair.

"These results are remarkable considering our small student population and the isolation of this region compared to competing areas across Canada," said Cooper. "Interest and success in science and school, in general, leads to more graduates and this means more youth ready to take on further training to assume leadership and fill jobs in Nunavut.

"All of the business partners in the Keewatin Science Fair realize this and support our many initiatives. Perhaps our greatest endorsement comes from the business arm of the Kivalliq Inuit Association. Sakku Investments' contribution to our fair surpasses the combined total of all other partners. They see their partnership as an investment in today's youth and tomorrow's leaders."

Cooper said Repulse Bay put on a great show hosting this year's event and every year it gets a little harder to try and keep up with all the flash of previous fairs. He said today's Keewatin students involved with the fair are actually applying scientific process to problems.

"To a large degree, they're applying scientific process to many of the problems we face here in the North," said Cooper.

"Whether it be the best insulation or how to mop up after spills, snow, the weather -- there's always something that perks up interest on a local or regional level."

Cooper said although he's talking about science and technology, he's also talking about literacy and all the other things that come with teaching.

"Our program literally affects hundreds of kids. Our goal was always to develop an interest in literacy, science and technology in our region and we feel this mission is shared by both our educational and business partners. Our community becomes stronger because this program allows our students to develop their skills, attitude and knowledge.

"If we keep this success up, our goals and our partnerships will remain strong and our students will continue to benefit and that's the message we took to Toronto."