From bench-top research to educating the next STEM generation

Faculty of Science
STEM complex exterior
Samantha Scarfe recently completed her MSc Degree in Physics under the supervision of Professors Adina Luican-Mayer and Jean-Michel Ménard.

Her research focused on light-matter interactions in quantum 2D materials, and more particularly on the fabrication of devices based on two-dimensional materials, such as graphene, studied with ultrafast laser pulses. Samantha’s outstanding research contributions led to five peer-reviewed articles, with two as first-author, published in Nature Scientific Reports and Applied Physics Letters.

Samantha does not only excel in her research, but also in her educational outreach activities. Supported by the prestigious Inaugural Canadian Association of Physicists Allan Carswell Physics Educator scholarship, she recently decided to pivot her career towards teaching physics in high school. As a future educator, she is eager to share her experience in academia and inspire students to pursue their own unique interests. She attributes her success to Profs. Luican-Mayer and Ménard for their mentorship and support.

Samantha Scarfe
Master’s student Samantha Scarfe

Samantha is passionate about science education and is an active member of the Canadian physics community, particularly in of the areas of education, equity, diversity and inclusion. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Education to become a high school physics teacher, while running her own private tutoring business. She also presented a scientific poster showcasing the status of gender equity in physics in Canada at the 2021 International Conference on Women in Physics (ICWIP), hosted virtually in Australia.

Following the completion of her Bachelor of Education, Samantha intends to undertake a coop placement in a high school. She is particularly interested in networking with French school boards to promote a love for the French language among students. She intends to educate herself on Canadian Indigenous history and contemporary issues in order to facilitate reconciliation.

Samantha volunteered with the Let’s Talk Science program, worked with the Inuuqatigiit Centre for Inuit Children, Settlement Services for Refugees Program, and with the Aboriginal Mentorship Program. All of these experiences allowed her to share her passion for science with students aged 6-17 from diverse backgrounds and experiences within the Ottawa community.

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