March 12, 2016 5:39 pm
Updated: March 12, 2016 9:56 pm

Montreal ‘Girls and Science’ event inspires students to pursue roles in male-dominated field

WATCH ABOVE: More than 400 girls from grades 8 and 9 took part in a series of hands-on science activities at Montreal's Ecole Polytechnique Saturday for the 17th edition of the 'Girls and Science' event.


MONTREAL – Hundreds of high school-aged girls, spent Saturday delving into the world of science thanks to the “Girls and Science, an electrifying duo” organization.

According to Nancy Rancourt, organizing committee president, the goal of the event is to promote science among young girls via a series of hands-on workshops and exhibits. The hope being that they will choose to pursue their studies in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM).

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At today’s event, some teams were tasked with building a prosthetic arm able to grab objects. Each team is lead by a woman in the field.

“They build with their own hands,” Rancourt said. “They see what they can do in the real world and how they can make a difference in society.”

Older students at a kiosk showed off a mobile app they developed for technovation, a competition open to girls between the ages of 10 to 18.

The application allows students from their high school to connect with alumni, so that former students can offer guidance and mentorship to the younger generations.

To develop the app, the students used three different programming languages and learned about each languages’ attributes.

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The event is now in its 17th year, and while there are more women choosing to work in fields such as programming and engineering there is still a lot of work to do.

“We reach around 20 per cent to 22 per cent of girls in engineering,” Rancourt said. “It’s the same all over Canada and even in the United States.”

But judging by today’s turnout, there is reason to be optimistic.

“Girls leave here with a very big smile,” Rancourt said.

And even more important they leave with a sense of accomplishment.

“Just being here right now makes me feel very empowered,” Caroline Anber, of the alumni app said. “We’re able to do this and I want younger girls to know that they can do this as well.”

WATCH: Two young engineers dropped by the Morning News to talk about the upcoming Girls and Science event that showcases amazing career opportunities for women in applied science. 

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