An Inuvik student studying at the University of Victoria has had her academic efforts recognized, as she was recently named as one of five recipients of a $25,000 award.
Tyra Cockney-Goose, a first-year student who is working towards completing her bachelor of science in mathematics, said that she was shocked when she heard that she was selected as one of the winners of the 2019 STEAM Horizon Awards.
“It was just something that I wanted to check out. I looked at the eligibility and I felt like it was a possibility,” said Cockney-Goose. “But I never thought I’d win. It was just something that I was just trying without much expectation.”
The STEAM Horizon Awards recognize the achievements that young Canadian students have made in the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM).
For her final science fair project at East Three Secondary School last year, Cockney-Goose explored the effects of sleep deprivation. Her work earned her a trip to Ottawa for the 2018 Canada-Wide Science Fair, where she earned a bronze medal.
Later that year, she was invited back to Ottawa in September for the Prime Minister’s Science Fair, which is where she heard about the STEAM Awards through a friend.
She ended up submitting an application for the STEAM Awards this past January, but she almost backed out due to the application’s demanding requirements.
“I needed a couple of letter references. I had to fill out a bunch of paperwork and make a two-minute video,” she said. “I also had to hand in my transcripts from high school and from my first semester.”
It wasn’t until the end of March when she got an email that informed her that she was one of this year’s winners.
“I heard my phone go off at like five in the morning. I just rolled over. I was so exhausted. But I looked at my phone – and I was already checking my email 10 times a day to see whether or not I won – so when I saw that, I was afraid,” she said. “I looked at the email and I read it. I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it at all.”
Her mother and younger sister are accompanying her to Ottawa for the award ceremony hosted at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum on April 25.
“It’s surreal. I’m still quite shocked by it,” she said.
Once she completes her studies, she said that she wants to come back to Inuvik to work as a math or science teacher.
“It has a lot to do with my frustration with what I had to go through to finish school. But for the most part, I just want to be a positive role model for younger youth that want to take their education to the next level,” she said.