From Queen's to (Little) NHL
March 16, 2015
Caitlyn Lahonen, goaltender for the Queen's Gaels women's hockey team, faces a shot in practice. Ms. Lahonen is featured in "The Hockey Project," a new outreach video series developed by the Aboriginal Access to Engineering program. (Photo by Robin Kasem)
At the Little Native Hockey League (LNHL) tournament last year, Aboriginal Access to Engineering Director Melanie Howard started thinking about different ways to engage thousands of hockey-obsessed Aboriginal youth.
A year later, she returns to Ontario’s largest Aboriginal youth hockey tournament with “The Hockey Project,” a four-part video series featuring Queen’s Gaels hockey player and Metis Caitlyn Lahonen.
“We strive to connect Aboriginal youth with role models so that they can see themselves in engineering,” Ms. Howard says. “The Hockey Project is great because Caitlyn’s story encourages Aboriginal youth, especially girls, to dream of a future as an engineering student as well as a varsity athlete.”
Ms. Lahonen, a fourth-year chemical engineering student, describes her background and interest in engineering in the first video. The second video focuses on the connection between engineering and hockey. Queen’s researcher Tim Bryant explains how his experience as a junior hockey player with the Kingston Frontenacs eventually led to his interest in blending engineering with sport and sport equipment design.
Other videos provide viewers with a glimpse into Ms. Lahonen’s day-to-day life and her volunteer work with youth hockey players in Kingston. Ms. Lahonen says she loves getting involved in helping with the Aboriginal community.
“I would like kids to watch the video and see that playing hockey and getting a great education is possible if you stay committed to the goals you have set out for yourself,” she says. “And I would also like them to take away that hockey and school are a lot of fun.”
AAE worked with the Media Squad in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science to develop the videos. The videos include footage shot using a Go-Pro camera attached to Ms. Lahonen and other players.
“This collaborative project showcases the talents of both the Media Squad students and Caitlyn,” says Meagan Suckling, Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. “The storytelling element of the videos successfully demonstrates how someone’s passion or hobby can lead to an education and career in engineering.”
Ms. Howard will screen the videos at the Queen’s University booth set up at the LNHL tournament March 16-19. AAE has also posted the videos online.