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Living WISEly - Winner Announcement
For: Students For: Teachers/Parents

Living WISEly - Winner Announcement

In 2020, the WISEatlantic team decided that we wanted to virtually engage young girls in the creative design process to promote their interest in STEM. The Living WISEly App Idea Design Contest was developed as an opportunity for girls aged 14-16 to hone their creative skills to one of today’s most heavily discussed topics: sustainability. Sustainability refers to meeting your own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to do the same. Participants were tasked to develop their own interpretations of sustainability and design their own app that either promotes or is related to their definition of sustainability.

The contest was held over many months, with application intake opening in December 2019 and closing in February 2021. In March, we hosted a virtual App 101 Session with app developer Lesley Chard. Participants were introduced to the App design process, as well as various tips and tricks to keep in mind while developing their designs. Later that month, contestants made their first pitch to a small judging panel. Judges provided feedback for each participant to incorporate into their final pitches.

Final pitches were longer and App designs had to be polished and fine-tuned. The presentation style was open, but it had to be clear that thought and effort had gone into their final pitch. A variety of styles were used, including both video and PowerPoint. A judging panel of 5 people attended the presentations and were assessed participants’ App designs according to a variety of criteria including, but not limited to, how well they adhered to theme, the originality and execution of their design, the need for the App, and if they had appropriately used their time during their pitch. The panel met following the presentations and decided on three winners; tied for first place were Shabad Kaur and Bianca Skye, and the runner up was Babitha Pothu. Congratulations to the three of you!

Shabad’s App was called “Plan-It” and was designed to make it easier for individuals to make sustainable purchases at a variety of big-name stores. By incorporating a reward system into her app that gave users the chance to earn discounts when they made certain sustainable choices, she ensured that people would keep coming back to her App and make long-term change.

Bianca’s App, “Go Go Eco”, was aimed towards younger children. Users would have the opportunity to grow a virtual garden by doing various real-time and in-game tasks related to sustainability. Her goal was to teach the younger generation about how they can make sustainable choices from their own home, like growing a vegetable garden, or ditching single-use plastics.

Babitha named her app “Accident Free” because its purpose was to prevent car accidents from occurring. The App would sync with a vehicles’ monitoring systems to alert the driver of any immediate threats. The other feature of the App was that if there was an accident, it would sync with 911 and alert the appropriate emergency assistance and would provide first responders important information such as location of the accident.

Congratulations to all participants! It was amazing to see what you all came up with. Thank you for all the time and effort you put into the contest and we can’t wait to see what you do next!

Thank you also to our judges: Tamara Franz-Odendaal, Sally Marchand, Lesley Chard, Madyn Bourque, and Molly Murray.

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2021 Virtual Girls Get WISE Retreat
For: Teachers/Parents

2021 Virtual Girls Get WISE Retreat

Our 2021 Girls Get WISE Science Retreat went virtual for the first time this year! The event was held on May 1st through Zoom to introduce young girls to various STEM disciplines while engaging them in science related activities.

Thirty-two girls in grades 7-10 participated in a CSI-based spatter analysis activity where they got to put their mathematical skills to the test to determine where a balloon of Fruitopia popped. Additionally, the girls worked together in small groups to make their way through a STEM-themed escape room including tasks in binary coding, pH testing, constellation naming, and DNA transcription and translation. The retreat also featured our always popular role model session which gave participants the chance to interact with female scientists in civil engineering, physics, and environmental science, and learn about their careers.

While the retreat was not able to be held in person this year, it remained a success! Having the event virtually gave us the chance to host girls from outside of the Halifax area, bringing an enthusiastic group of aspiring scientists together safely to celebrate our love for STEM.

Featured below is some feedback we received from participants and their parents about their experiences in our 2021 Virtual Girls Get WISE Science Retreat;

“I really enjoyed the role model session and learning about different jobs in the STEM field.”

“It was a huge hit with our 13-year-old daughter… and a perfect activity while NS is in lockdown, and we are all staying at home.”

“My favorite activity was the escape room. I have been to two of these events in previous years and [have] enjoyed every one!”

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STEM Spotlight Series
For: Teachers/Parents For: Women in SETT

STEM Spotlight Series

WISEatlantic has always been a dedicated force in encouraging girls to pursue STEM careers. Over the years, we have engaged with youth through one day retreats, week-long camp experiences, role model workshops, and more. Providing women and girls with opportunities to explore what STEM has to offer is something we’re passionate about, but we’re not the only ones. Read more about our new STEM Spotlight Series...

Our STEM Spotlight Series aims to highlight organizations in Atlantic Canada that promote inclusion in STEM; this can extend to any groups that are currently underrepresented in science careers. We want to bring attention to the initiatives fighting for inclusion of women, BIPOC, LGBTQ+ individuals, and/or other equity-deserving groups. If you know, or are a part of, an organization striving to increase representation for marginalized groups in STEM, we encourage you to reach out to us at WISEatlantic@msvu.ca for more details on how to get your initiative featured.

STEM Spotlight posts will be featured on our social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), and a booklet of all featured organizations will be produced and featured on our website for download.

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CCWESTT 2022 Announcement
For: Women in SETT

CCWESTT 2022 Announcement

WISEatlantic is excited to announce...

That along with Women in Aerospace Canada – Atlantic, we will be hosting the CCWESTT 2022 Conference in Halifax! So make sure to save the date, May 12-14, 2022. The conference will take place at the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel.

Let’s reach for the stars and create impact, together!

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Career Spotlight Booklet Series
For: Students For: Teachers/Parents

Career Spotlight Booklet Series

The first booklet in the Career Spotlight Series - Women in Science, has been completed. The Career Spotlight Series is directed at young girls in Junior and Senior High Schools and will be distributed to various schools and teachers’ conferences in the Atlantic Provinces. The aim of the Career Spotlight Series is to showcase the variety of careers available in the STEM fields.

The first booklet features a diverse group of women working in Geology, Molecular Microbiology, Physics, Marine Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Biology.  This is the first in the series of four booklets.  The next career booklet will come out in the fall of 2020 and will shine the spotlight on Engineers.  The following years will feature women in Information Technology and Math and Aboriginal STEM professionals.

Find the Women in Science booklet on our resources page! 

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The Dr. Margaret-Ann Armour National Conference Grant
For: Women in SETT

The Dr. Margaret-Ann Armour National Conference Grant

The CWSE Network will be accepting applications for the next round of the Dr. Margaret-Ann National Conference Grant between September 7-15th, 2020. The purpose of this grant is to support the organization of non-profit national conferences that contribute to the advancement of women in STEM.

Due to COVID-19, we will consider applications for virtual conferences and workshops for the 2020-2021 year. To find out more or to download the grant forms, visit our Dr. Margaret-Ann Armour Conference Grant page

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All News

Living WISEly Contest
For: Students For: Teachers/Parents

Living WISEly Contest

Did you hear?! We are having our first BIG contest for girls!

Until January 15, youth who identify as female between the ages of 14-16 can submit their application for our Living WISEly App Idea Design Contest. Living WISEly is an opportunity for teenage girls to apply their creativity to one of the most heavily discussed topics in today’s classrooms: SustainabilitySustainability refers to meeting your own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to do the same. There are four types of sustainability: human, social, economic, and environmental. 

We encourage participants to develop their own interpretations of sustainability and define it in any way they want. At this point in time where the need to create habits that support the well-being of our planet and beyond is so vital, we want to challenge you to come up with a design for your own App that either promotes or is related to the above definition of Sustainability in some way.

We have some fabulous prizes to give away, first place is $500 technology gift card!, so be sure to head to wiseatlantic.ca/living-wisely/ for full contest rules and eligibility.

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Partnerships Program Funding Announcement 2020

Partnerships Program Funding Announcement 2020

We are pleased to announce that the recipients of the 2020-2021 Partnerships Program Funding are...

Diversity of Nature and Fundy Geological Museum! Congratulations to both groups.

Diversity of Nature is a new organization led by female Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) graduate students at Dalhousie University. Diversity of Nature is an initiative aimed at empowering BIPOC students at both the secondary and post-secondary level across Nova Scotia. They pitched a program called Diversity of Nature Field Camp which will provide an immersive week-long ecological field expedition for BIPOC students. You can learn more about this program at www.diversityofnature.com/

The Fundy Geological Museum in Parrsboro, NS is the world centre for experiencing the geology of the Bay of Fundy. Founded in December 1993, the museum is operated locally by a registered non-profit, the Cumberland Geological Society, on behalf of the Nova Scotia Museum. The museum pitched their first ever all-girls overnight experience at the museum called ‘Paleontologist for a Weekend’. Participants will stay overnight at the museum and take part in fun and educational activities including: a behind-the-scenes tour of the museum gallery, fossil lab, and rarely seen collections room; casting their own fossil in the lab; and travelling to the nearby Wasson Bluff dinosaur dig site, with the opportunity to excavate fossils alongside our experts and ask questions over a bonfire. More information on the Fundy Geological Museum can be found at: fundygeological.novascotia.ca/

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An Out of This World Discovery by Julia Odendaal
For: Students For: Teachers/Parents For: Women in SETT

An Out of This World Discovery by Julia Odendaal

Around the world right now there are so many things happening, with COVID-19 and the US presidential election. Not many people are focusing on the up-and-comers of scientific discoveries. 2020 has been a crazy year, not a great one but for the Canadian Space Agency 2020 has come with the findings of a possible second solar system, and a new leader.  

Around the world right now there are so many things happening, with COVID-19 and the US presidential election. Not many people are focusing on the up-and-comers of scientific discoveries. 2020 has been a crazy year, not a great one but for the Canadian Space Agency 2020 has come with the findings of a possible second solar system, and a new leader.  

 There are so many amazing women doing incredible things in today’s world. Including Lisa Campbell, she is the first female President of the Canadian Space Agency. She stepped into this huge role with hard work and dedication. Using her leadership skills, she guided the agency to new heights. Campbell previously served as the Associate Deputy Minister with Veterans Affairs Canada. She also acquired a Bachelor’s of Arts in Political Science from McGill University and a Legum Baccalaureus of Law from Dalhousie Law Schoolcreating a strong educational background that’s great asset in this position. She has worked in both the private and public sectors in employment, constitutional and criminal law.  

 Her long-standing history with the Government of Canada includes Assistant Deputy Minister, Defense and Marine Procurement, Public Services and Procurement, where she provided military and marine procurement solutions, as well as Senior Deputy Commissioner for Canada’s competition authority, responsible for reviewing business conduct across the board.  All of this experience makes her the perfect person to lead the Canadian Space Agency through the multitude of funding opportunities coming their way over the next several years.  

 Many of us have heard of the mythical hybrid between human and horsethe centaur, but I’m sure you wouldn’t believe what I’m about to tell you!  

 The ATLAS telescope located in Hawaii captured images of what appears to be a second solar system. They’re calling this centaur (a hybrid between a comet and an asteroid) orbiting object the P/2019 LD2. Because of its composition and its overall potential to move rapidly across the solar system, some astronomers believe that centaurs are a so-called missing link between small icy masses in the Kuiper Belt which is beyond Neptune and comets that regularly visit the inner solar system (SN: 11/19/94).

 Sciencenews.org calls these icy masses, short-period comets. They are expected to orbit around the sun once per decade. Sometimes will even come close enough to be seen from earth. Other longer period comets including Halley’s Comet, which only visits our solar system once in a century. These comets most likely originated from further beyond the sun.  

 Oftentimes, we (as amateurs) think of asteroids and comets as pretty much the same thing. Astronomers are now teaching us the differences, and also about the increasing number of “crossovers” or hybrids, just like the mythical centaur. The hybrids first appear to act as a standard asteroid and then later begin to morph and develop new activity (such as tails)  specific to comets. Astronomers and scientists have yet to tell us how or why this may be happening within the walls of our solar system.  

 What’s the difference between a comet and an asteroid? Tim Childers from Live Science tells us that comets are known as a dirty space snowball, made of mostly ice and dust. As comets tend to have a more stable orbit. Whereas asteroids are known as the rocky and airless leftovers from the formation of plants in our solar system. Asteroids mostly orbit around the sun in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. 1 

While the ATLAS telescope has discovered more than 40 cometsthis particular discovery of the 2019 LD2  is quite interesting because of the way that it orbits. This begs the question; Why is the orbit of this object extraordinary? Writers at NASA answered; The early indication that it was an asteroid near Jupiter’s orbit has now been confirmed through precise measurements from many different observations. This hybrid orbits in the same area that Jupiter does, implying that it may be part of the Jupiter’s trojans; a group of asteroids that share the same orbit as Jupiter. This was initially proven to be false by Sam Deen and Tony Dunn on the Minor planet Mailing List on May 21st, 2020. But after further observation it’s been determined that 2019 LD2 is part of Jupiter’s Trojans, it just exhibits different behaviors never seen before because it spewing out dust and gas which are characteristics of a comet. 

 As new observations are being conducted to try to figure out what actually happened. The only thing I am certain of is that the universe is full of big surprises. Even explorations to warn us of possible dangerous asteroids leaves us with many unexpected treasures that are harmless but incredibly fascinating objects that teach us more about the history of our solar system.  

 

 

  1. Childers, T. (2019, September 04).What’s the Difference Between Asteroids, Comets and Meteors? Retrieved October/November, 2020, from https://www.livescience.com/difference-between-asteroids-comets-and-meteors.html 

 

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Bingo Challenge!
For: Students

Bingo Challenge!

Starting May 4th we challenge you to complete our online bingo card for a chance to win a prize!

Submit your completed bingo card to WISEatlantic@msvu.ca (by copying the URL of completed card), along with a paragraph on which activity was your favorite and why, as well as a bit about yourself!

GET YOUR BINGO CARD HERE

Submissions will be entered into a random draw to win ONE of the following:

  • Free registration in one of our Girls Get WISE Science Summer Camps for you and a friend OR
  • Free registration for you and 3 friends to our Spring 2021 retreat OR
  • You can donate one of these options to your school!

Please Note: this contest is open to those who identify as girls ages 12-16 years.

Contest closes June 5th at 10:00pm

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International Women's Day 2020

International Women's Day 2020

Our Pioneers in Skirts movie screening on March 4 was a great way to kick-off celebrations for International Women's Day 2020.

WISEatlantic was pleased to partner with Women in Aerospace Canada Atlantic (WIA) for an International Women’s Day celebration.  The event showcased “Pioneers in Skirts”, a 60-minute documentary on achieving gender equity in the workplace and world. The event had a great turn-out with over 80 people in attendance ranging from youth to adults.

Following the film, WISEatlantic Chair Dr. Franz-Odendaal and WIA Atlantic VP Eva Martinez, led a discussion on impactful moments from the film and how employers can change the work climate to support gender equity.

We would like to thank our Sponsors CAE and Ultra for helping us make this event a success. 

If you would like to view this documentary and engage your family in a discussion on gender equity in the workplace, visit pioneersinskirts.com/pioneer-at-home/

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Girls Conference 2020
For: Students

Girls Conference 2020

On Friday March 6th 2020, the Alexa McDonough Institute for Women, Gender, and Social Justice at Mount Saint Vincent University will being holding the 2020 Girls Conference in celebration of International Women's Day.

The conference is for junior and senior high school girls from across the province, with workshops and presentations for participants to attend. The conference will be held at Mount Saint Vincent University with the theme Courageous, Creative, Confident.

WISEatlantic will be holding the “Game of Life” workshop where participants will have the opportunity to explore the realities of the working world as you get assigned a career and have to create a budget based on your given salary. Have fun choosing a home, car, pets, etc. all while sticking to a budget! Just like in the real world, life events can either add to your life or throw you into the deep end. In this life simulator, you will experience the ups-and-downs of the working world and attempt to come out on top. Do you think you’re ready for the “Game of Life”?

 

To learn more and register visit: https://www.msvu.ca/en/home/research/chairs/centresandinstitutes/IWGSJ/Events/girls2020/default.aspx

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STEMaware 2019
For: Teachers/Parents

STEMaware 2019

Another Successful STEMaware event took place on November. 5th, 2019 at Mount Saint Vincent University.

WISEatlantic hosted our third annual STEMaware event, which aims to connect High School girls and current Mount Saint Vincent University science students with past Bachelor of Science alumni. Many students are not necessarily aware of what they can do with their education, post-graduation. Nineteen students, ranging from grade nine to fourth year university, got to chat with Bachelor of Science graduates about their career paths and what they are using their degree’s for. Among our graduates were Nicole Snow, a genetic counsellor, Jessica Romo, an environmental scientist, Courtney Masey, a registered dietician, Holly Cook, a Chemistry and Physics laboratory technician, and Giovanni Johnson, a microbiologist and entrepreneur.

Mount Saint Vincent University recruitment was also in attendance and managed a booth during the event.

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Science Literacy Week Event

Science Literacy Week Event

Our Science Literacy Week event on September 18, 2019 was a great success!

WISEatlantic teamed up with the Halifax North Memorial Public Library to host “Exploring Careers in Ocean Science”. The event was one of many around the city in support of Science Literacy Week, which was centered around oceans this year. Around 40 junior high and high school students attended a panel which highlighted three women in ocean sciences – Stephanie Kienast, an associate professor in Dalhousie’s Oceanography department, Hillary Murphy, a whale biologist at BIO, and Sue Molloy, president and CEO of Glas Ocean Electric. Our role models talked about their careers, as well as the importance of research in ocean sciences. Following the panel, COVE lead a boat-building activity that had participants examine and follow design instructions to create their own floating boat.

This event was also the first CAGIS event for our junior high girls. CAGIS aims to provide girls with more hands-on activities surrounding science, technology, engineering, and math, as well as informing them of the variety of opportunities that exist for them in STEM fields.

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Atlantic ConnecTions Conference 2019 - Conference Report

Atlantic ConnecTions Conference 2019 - Conference Report

The third biennial Atlantic ConnecTions Conference was held on May 30 & 31, 2019 at the University of Prince Edward Island in Charlottetown, PE, and was hosted by the Faculty of Sustainable Design Engineering. The main theme of the conference was “Sustaining Women in SETT”, and as such the program particularly focused on how best to retain women and gender minorities in SETT in Atlantic Canada.

ACT 2019 provided an opportunity for attendee’s to share their experiences of studying and working in male-dominated fields, to network with others, and to discuss successful strategies for recruiting and retaining women in SETT. ACT 2019 welcomed 84 students, academics and industry professionals from SETT sectors across Atlantic Canada.

Read the full conference report on the conference website, http://atlanticconnections.ca/ 

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