Cape Breton University is set to celebrate its 6th Annual Women in Science and Engineering Event (WISE) on April 2 at the Verschuren Centre. The day is filled with inspiring stories of women who have found success in various science-related careers and engages students through many hands-on learning activities. Designed with high school and junior high school students in mind, WISE introduces young females to opportunities available through science-related studies, including those that may not be so clearly linked to a science education.
This year, WISE organizers are very excited about having keynote speaker, The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, P.C. Minister of Science for Canada, at the event to share her experiences with young females of Cape Breton Island. Minister Duncan’s work as an academic, in community and on climate change is sure to excite young females aspiring to make a difference in the world around them.
“As a woman and a former scientist, I feel very strongly about encouraging women to pursue studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” says Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science. “The Government of Canada values the important perspective women bring to these fields. I am pleased to join researchers and mentors at this event to help promote careers in the sciences to young women.”
The event usually welcomes more than 100 young females to campus and organizer Dr. Stephanie MacQuarrie is expecting the same level of interest for this year’s event. Some of the activities include Computer Science Hack-a-thon, Toxic Popcorn and much more.
It is important that young females are exposed to the many career options that a foundation in science can lead to. Events like WISE are just one way female leaders in science are helping to grow interest and numbers in science-related careers for women.
“A great deal of progress has been made in support of women scientists including programs like ours, yet gender biases and negative stereotypes still exist and still impact girls learning and staying in STEM fields. We know this because only 22 per cent of Canada’s STEM workforce is composed of women – this has only increased by 2 per cent since 1987. Our government is aware of these issues and is making significant steps to make change, and we are really excited to hear what Minister Duncan has to teach us on Saturday,” Dr. Stephanie MacQuarrie.