Kenora, Ontario, June 7, 2017

Students Inspired and Captivated By Canada’s First Woman Astronaut

Pope John Paul II School:

6th to 8th grade students across the KCDSB welcomed Dr Roberta Bondar into their midst and helped celebrate the 25th anniversary of her historic spaceflight and Ontario’s 150th anniversary.

Dr. Bondar invited them to take The Ontario 150 Bondar Challenge to seek out some special natural element in their environment that they value and admire and to capture it in a photograph to show others what they wish will continue to exist and delight others 150 years from now.


Kenora, Ontario, June 7, 2017

First Female Canadian Space Traveler Visits Kenora

“a moment of awe and inspiration for students in Kenora”

Dr Bondar also told audience about The Ontario 150 Bondar Challenge in which she asks participants to photograph a natural environment element that they wish will still be enjoyed by people 150 years in the future.



Thunder Bay, Ontario, June 7, 2017

Brent Linton, The Chronicle-Journal:
Former astronaut shows students big picture … then challenged students to use a camera to photograph an aspect of nature in the community that they hope will still exist in 150 years … The Ontario 150 Bondar Challenge.


Thunder Bay, Ontario, June 6, 2017

Leith Dunick, Thunder Bay News
Bondar cautious when it comes to Mars exploration — Canada’s first female astronaut would like to see humanity return to the moon before setting out to colonize the Red Planet.

Dr Bondar is in Thunder Bay on her #EarthMatters tour with Science North, to invite the public to take up The Ontario 150 Bondar Challenge.


Sudbury, Ontario, June 2, 2017

Roberta Bondar inspiring youth to mark Ontario 150 with photos of nature

— Canada’s first female astronaut touring northern Ontario to promote photography challenge.

CBC News recap of Dr. Roberta Bondar’s visit on her #EarthMatters speaking tour to introduce Sudbury to the Ontario 150 Bondar Challenge.


Sudbury, Ontario, June 1, 2017

Bondar launches photo challenge

As part of her #EarthMatters tour, Dr. Bondar launched her Ontario 150 Challenge where people can join her in demonstrating the importance of their natural world, She capped the day with a personally guided tour of her national 150 exhibit, Light in the Land ~ the Nature of Canada, “a travelling exhibition of 14 oversized fine art photographs of the Canadian landscape from sea to sea to sea … [that] cultivate a sense of awe, pride, respect and understanding of the natural beauty, biodiversity and sustainability of our nation.”


Sudbury, Ontario, June 1, 2017

Heather Green-Oliver,, reports: Canada’s first female astronaut visits Sudbury — where Dr. Roberta Bondar spoke to students at a stop at Science North about her love for the planet.


Sudbury, Ontario, June 1, 2017

Keith Lacey of writes: Bondar speaks in Sudbury — about achieving the dream of a lifetime.


Sudbury, Ontario, June 1, 2017

Nick Liard of reports: Dr. Roberta Bondar Issues Photography Challenge To Northern City’s[sic] — inviting people to take nature photographs of their own and submit them to The Ontario150 Bondar Challenge.


Timmins, Ontario, May 11, 2017

Cdn astronaut Bondar urges Timmins students to create their own legacy
by Emma Meldrum, Timmins

Canada’s first female astronaut spoke at Timmins High and Vocational School on Thursday as part of #EarthMatters regional tour for the Ontario 150 Bondar Challenge. Dr. Roberta Bondar invited Timmins and area residents “to join her in celebrating the beauty of nature” that they value by making a photographic image of that special natural element and sharing it online.


North Bay, Ontario, May 11, 2017

Canada’s first woman in space encourages local students to help preserve this planet
by Linda Holmes,

As part of her #EarthMatters tour, Dr. Roberta Bondar challenged her audience to engage in the natural environment, to think about the natural environment, and take her photographic Ontario 150 Bondar Challenge and find some natural element they value for future generations to see.


North Bay, Ontario, May 10, 2017

The Nugget journalist, PJ Wilson, captures the highlights of Dr. Roberta Bondar’s Ontario 150 Bondar Challenge to the city and area residents at West Ferris Secondary School today. In a collaboration between Science North and The Roberta Bondar Foundation, she spoke to students and educators from across the region, marking the 25th anniversary of her journey into space as a member of the First International Microgravity Laboratory and the North Bay launch of the Ontario 150 Bondar Challenge.

For more, check out Wilson’s article Astronaut challenges Canadians to embrace the planet


Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, April 24, 2017

How Science North and The Roberta Bondar Foundation formed their new partnership Initiative that incorporates the 2017 photography-based Ontario 150 Bondar Challenge.

For more about this innovative initiative, see


News Release

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, April 24, 2017 – Science North and The Roberta Bondar Foundation have formed a new partnership to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Dr. Roberta Bondar’s historic space travel with Earth Matters, a multi-city series of guest appearances throughout Northern Ontario focused on the trailblazing astronaut’s love for this planet.

The inspirational seven-stop series, which kicks off on April 25 at the Sault Ste. Marie Science Festival in Dr. Bondar’s hometown, is part of Ontario’s 150th anniversary celebrations. The initiative also incorporates the photography-based Ontario150 Bondar Challenge.

“My view from the spacecraft Discovery 25 years ago forever changed my view of Earth, and it was on that flight that I committed to protect this magnificent planet,” says Dr. Bondar, whose Foundation is committed to connecting people to nature through photography in order to promote good health and protect the planet.

Dr. Bondar is not only Canada’s first woman and world’s first neurologist in space, she is also an award-winning photographer, who photographed each of Canada’s National Parks for the book Passionate Vision – Discovering Canada’s National Parks. She will illustrate her talks on how her unique perspective from space made her appreciate Earth using many of her fine art images and videos.

“As part of Science North’s mandate in serving Northern Ontario we are always looking for ways to extend our reach and bring science education to all communities in Northern Ontario,” says Guy Labine, Science North CEO. “We are delighted to partner with Dr. Bondar, who is such an inspiration to so many Canadians, in bringing her insights about our planet to Northern Ontario in such a unique way.”

“Ontario’s 150th anniversary is an opportunity for people to recognize and celebrate the incredible resources our province offers,” says Eleanor McMahon, Ontario Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “Under the leadership of Dr. Bondar and Science North, Earth Matters and the Ontario150 Bondar Challenge will engage and help people connect with our natural world in an inspiring and impactful way.”

Dr. Bondar’s tour of the North has additional stops in Sudbury, North Bay, Timmins, Manitoulin Island, Kenora and Thunder Bay the dates for which will be confirmed in the coming weeks.

The Ontario150 Bondar Challenge invites people to take photographs of an aspect of nature in their own community that they admire and hope will still exist 150 years from now. Participants will be asked to submit their photographs along with a brief description of why what they have captured is meaningful. Once submitted, these photos can be viewed on community pages accessed here.

The photography will be curated into narratives of each community’s hopes for the ‘natural future’ and publicly posted. The illustrated online stories will be promoted by The Roberta Bondar Foundation on their site and social media channels as well as on the Science North website. More details about this challenge will be announced in the first stop of the tour on April 25, 11am at Algoma University, GLC Field House and posted at that time on The Foundation’s The Ontario 150 Bondar Challenge webpage.

The event is aimed at students from grade 6 to 12 with members of the general public invited to attend. Tickets are free but limited and can be reserved online at

“It is my hope that when people connect to nature through photography, they will love and respect Earth and work together to protect it so that we can enjoy a healthy life on a healthy planet,” says Dr. Bondar.

About the Roberta Bondar Foundation
The Roberta Bondar Foundation’s mission is to build healthier lives by protecting the natural heritage of our planet. By connecting people to nature through photography, the foundation aims to promote good health while protecting the planet. Programs include nature photography programs for youth, traveling photography exhibitions on biodiversity for all generations, research and speakers’ series by Dr. Roberta Bondar. Examples of The Roberta Bondar Lecture and Seminars programs and series.

About Science North
Science North is Northern Ontario’s most popular tourist attraction and an educational resource for children and adults across the province, operating the second- and eighth-largest science centres in Canada. Science North’s attractions include a science centre, IMAX® theatre, digital Planetarium, butterfly gallery, special exhibits hall, and Dynamic Earth – Home of the Big Nickel, a separate science centre focused on mining and earth sciences.

About Ontario150
2017 is the 150th anniversary of Ontario as a province. To recognize this historically significant year, the government launched Ontario150, a year-long commemoration that is honouring the province’s past, showcasing the present and inspiring future generations. Through Ontario150 grant programs and a series of signature initiatives, Ontario is engaging youth, encouraging cultural expression, promoting participation in sport and recreation, and creating economic opportunities across the province.

For more information, media are asked to contact:

Science North
Nicole Chiasson
Director, Education and Northern Programs
705-522-3701 ext. 375

The Roberta Bondar Foundation
Donna Baker, Project Coordinator
(416) 522-4859

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