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ASHRAE Regina Chapter Invests in STEM Education for Students

ASHRAE Regina Chapter Invests in STEM Education for Students

By Kaitlyn Baich, Assistant Editor

Introducing students to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education early in their lives can lead to positive language and literacy outcomes in later years.1 However, parents and schools can struggle to find how these programs can be implemented within their children’s day to day activities.

For schools in the Saskatchewan province of Canada, favor comes from the ASHRAE Regina Chapter. When all is said and done, 570 copies of Lucy’s Engineering Adventure will be distributed to schools within the province. Dave Samayoa, Associate Member ASHRAE, Student Activities Chair ASHRAE Regina, and Jared Larson, Member ASHRAE, spoke with ASHRAE Journal about the chapter’s effort to distribute the book.

“We looked at the province of Saskatchewan to see how many books we would need to supply Saskatchewan and realized it was an achievable goal that we could fundraise for,” said Samayoa. “We reached out to ASHRAE Saskatoon, and worked together to reach out to different consulting firms and equipment suppliers to see who was willing to donate.”

As an incentive for the donors, the chapter printed off stickers of the sponsors who donated at least $500 to place in every copy of the book. With Samayoa adding, “We had a few companies who wanted to donate more than that.”

In just three weeks, the chapter was able acquire over half of their yearly research promotion, raising $7250 toward this particular endeavor.

ASHRAE has seen a trend in chapters donating Lucy’s Engineering Adventure to schools with the East Tennessee Chapter donating 150 books to Blount County schools and the Minnesota Chapter donating 240 books to school districts in MN. Other chapters have also used the book for raffles for award banquets.

Larson, who chaired the ASHRAE Student Activities Committee last year, shared that the support for this effort does not stop at the HVAC&R industry and ASHRAE, but the Saskatchewan community.

“There's our non-technical communities recognizing it too as a good effort and I think we had a couple people reach out after watching it on the news as well," said Larson. “It's getting exposure outside of our regular circle of people.”

As the exposure builds, the ASHRAE Student Activities Committee is working to translate Lucy’s Engineering Adventure into seven different languages for international readers. These languages include Arabic, Serbian, Croatian, Portuguese, French, Spanish and Chinese.

Samayoa also has more than one hand in making the book more accessible to the province as he reached out to a translator to translate the book into Cree, which is spoken across Canada and is one of the most widely spoken indigenous languages in Canada.

Dave Samayoa; Jared Larson; Darrell Romuld, CTV News Regina Sr. Producer and Anchor, at an interview with CTV New Regina talking about the donations of Lucy's Engineering Adventure. Credit: Jared Larson

And the work does not stop at Lucy’s Engineering Adventure for ASHRAE’s Regina Chapter.

“Dave's been doing work at an after-school program as well outside of the book,” said Larson. “So, it's not just the book. The book was kind of a great tool to add on to what he was already doing.”

Larson started an after-school program at Mother Teresa Middle School in Regina where students can learn about the engineering field and gain knowledge on STEM early in their lives.

The inner-city school targets students that come from underprivileged places. Larson pointing out equity being at the heart of the school.

He recognized the need to introduce the students to engineering as he recalled he knew he was moving in the direction of a career in STEM since the second grade.

"We started going there [Mother Teresa Middle School] once a week working with the kids and we found tremendous support from our chapter as well and the chapter chairs,” said Larson. “Year after year we would continue the program, it's encouraging to see them coming back again and keep going. It takes a lot of work but it's rewarding and fun and challenging.”

Samayoa has been heading the program since 2022 and expressed his gratitude toward the opportunity to run an after-school STEM program.

“Not every kid has the opportunity to get into the STEM programs at a young age,” said Samayoa. “I feel it's been really rewarding and challenging as well, trying to think of new ideas, keep the students engaged. This past fall, we actually missed the week because the kids were away at camp. When I came back the following week, I had four kids come up saying how much they missed me and how much they missed the class.”

The Regina Chapter also actively works with the University of Regina and University of Regina Student Branch where Larson teaches the lab section for an HVAC Systems course and has led mechanical systems tours and AutoCAD training workshops. The Chapter is even involved with final year engineering student’s capstone projects, acting as Industry Supervisors for students’ projects.

“I was involved with the Student Branch as a student,” said Samayoa. “Attending chapter meetings and learning more about the industry as a student steered my career in this direction. I’m grateful for the opportunities that I had as a student and am proud to be able to give back to the next generation.”

Between the work at Mother Teresa Middle School and University of Regina and as the distribution of Lucy’s Engineering Adventure continues, Samayoa and Larson plan to continue working with the school districts to spread the STEM message. The chapter also hopes to do a couple of live readings at the schools that receive the book.

For more information on the ASHRAE Regina Chapters work, visit

For more information on Lucy’s Engineering Adventure, visit

Lucy Goes Green, the second book in the Engineering Adventure Series, is set to be released at the 2024 ASHRAE Winter Conference in Chicago. The story will follow Lucy’s teacher taking the class on a field trip to a sustainable farm to learn about alternative energy sources.

The ASHRAE Journal team plans to follow this story and provide any updates we receive from ASHRAE Regina Chapter.


Paprzycki, P., Tuttle, N., Czerniak, C. M., Molitor, S., Kadervaek, J. and Mendenhall, R. (2017), The impact of a Framework-aligned science professional development program on literacy and mathematics achievement of K-3 students. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 54(9), 1174–1196.