Destination Exploration Staff

Valerie picture Valerie Archibald is the Director of Youth Outreach for the Faculty of Arts & Science. She is responsible for overseeing outreach for the faculty and creating a strong balance with both STEM and Social Science & Humanitiies outreach. Valerie moved to Lethbridge in 2012 from Frederiston, NB. She has a B.Sc. in Forestry & Environmental Management and a Masters in Youth and Family Studies. She enjoys spending time with her family, being outdoors - camping, swimming, biking, running and enjoying nature.
Laura Keffer-Wilkes is our Program Coordinator, organizing activities and staff for all the STEM outreach programs. She graduated with a Ph.D. in Molecular Biosciences (Biochemistry) from the University of Lethbridge and has had a lifelong enjoyment of science and learning. When she's not thinking about or doing science, she is cuddling her cats.
Prachi Sanghavi is one of our In-School STEM Club Leaders. She is a second year neuroscience student at the University of Lethbridge and is passionate about teaching science. She is excited to help introduce students to the amazing world of science! When she’s not at school, Prachi spends her time volunteering, in dance and gymnastics, or playing with her dog.
Emily Jones

Emily Jones is one of our Tech Maker club leaders. She is currently studying applied statistics with a concentration in geography at the University of Lethbridge, and has a B.Sc. in biological and physical sciences. Science, research and learning are her great passions. In her spare time, Emily rock climbs, hikes, runs, travels and surfs. She also searches for and photographs the unusual and rare plants of Alberta! She is excited and enthusiastic about sharing science with students.

Olivia Stephen
Olivia Stephen is one our of In-School STEM club leaders. She is a 4th year Neuroscience student at the University of Lethbridge. She is passionate about science and education and is excited to ignite that passion in others. When she's not studying, she enjoys hiking, skiing, physical activity, travelling and spending time with family and friends.
Tyler Heaton

Tyler Heaton is a media artist, technology enthusiast and fledgling maker. He is a lifelong learner, always interested in what makes something tick, and he never shies away from a DIY project. Tyler has a background in new media, filmmaking, and education, which he brings into every project. In the Fall of 2017, Tyler began his postgraduate degree in New Media, focusing on interactive and immersive media where his artwork includes creating virtual and mixed reality experiences.


Cassandra Allenby is a super nerd. This means along with her passion for programming, she also tinkers with 3D printing, electronic engineering, robotics and game design. She is currently a graduate student in the MFA program at the University of Lethbidge. Whenever possible she takes the opportunity to teach what she loves, and to be a strong female mentor in a field desperately in need of more. After a good day of nerding, she grabs some buddies to backpack, do music-y things with her guitar or lift heavy things at the gym to get her out of her computer chair. 

Braden pic

Braden Wiens is a graduate student here at the U of L working on his Masters in Physics. He enjoys taking on random projects and building things. Some of his projects include programming computer models, one of which was for solar system modeling of planet orbits, and building of various robots. One year over Christmas break he had some spare time and was a bit bored so he collected scrap parts from around his family's farm and built a small jet engine based on a turbo pulled off an old car. Braden will be one of Destination Exploration's Robotics & Engineering Club leaders.

Cynthia pic

Cynthia Fonderson is a biochemistry major with a strong interest in computer science and artificial intelligence. She is also a mentor, and believes there is power in educating and empowering girls.

When she is not in class or lab, Cynthia can be found swimming, working out or cooking. She also loves travelling and is always looking forward to the next adventure.

Dana pic

Dana is a 2nd year bachelor of nursing student at the University of Lethbridge. She currently has 2 dogs, 2 cats, and 1 bunny!  Her dream career is a paediatric operating room nurse or pursuing medicine post grad to specialize in paediatric plastic surgery. She has a true passion for science and the interesting phenomena that occur around us everyday. She's looking forward to teaching others about what she has learned and the great things found in nature. Other interests and hobbies she enjoys are running, hiking, spending time with animals, volunteering and watching cat videos.

Chelsea Pic

Chelsea is one of our iScientist and STEM Club leaders. She is a third-year student here at the University of Lethbridge taking a combined science and education degree. She loves science and can’t wait to share her passion with the club members. When not at the university, Chelsea loves spending time with family, friends and going to various sporting events.

Curtis Pic

Curtis was born in Lethbridge and spent his formative years in Magrath, Alberta. It was there during high school that he began to tinker with computers and joined the school band. The school’s computer teacher gave him a note which he would show the custodians, telling them to let him into the computer lab at 6am when they started work so that he could work on his multimedia projects. In the school band he started by playing the Flute, but moved to Oboe in later years. Magrath was well known for its military style marching band, in which he played the highland bagpipes, and performed on several trips to the United States.

Curtis is currently a graduate student at the University of Lethbridge, in the 3rd year of a Master of Music program. His research centres around do-it-yourself electronics. He is building a recording studio that fits into a tablet style computer for his master’s thesis project. He has previously worked with youth camps at Destination Exploration this year as a facilitator for the inaugural “Experiential Learning Week” which occurred this May, and he was also a Cub leader for Scouts Canada.