We hosted a conference where students learned key information about STEM fields and how to find support and resources for their education journey. We had 8 rapid style presentations from women in stem in BC programs or women advocacy groups and 4 workshop sessions (science demos, skill building, etc).
The Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Conference aims to build connections and encourage inner-city female students in STEM careers to limit gaps in their transition to higher education. Female students are invited to help support their education and career development in STEM. Students engaged in presentations and activities in each of the following fields: (1) Chemistry and Engineering, (2) Biology and Medicine, (3) Mathematics and Technology. Each discipline has specific information for admission to programs, challenges as a woman in non-traditional careers, community-specific support, and inspiring women who practiced in the field. Furthermore, students and presenters will be involved in a conversation regarding the importance of mentorship and finding a mentor who identifies as the same gender, culture, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status. To build on the topic of mentorship, students will be connected with female undergraduate students and professionals in various fields in a low intimidation environment to provide further insight into prospective STEM fields. As the first conference of its kind in Surrey, the Women in STEM conference will develop meaningful connections with female prospective students in STEM and provide motivation and support for pursuing higher education.
We involved community organizations and youth members from Empower The Future, post-secondary institutions and woman-focused organizations.
Our project engaged female students in high school to motivate them towards STEM fields.
We were able to organize a unique event (one of the first in Surrey).
The issue with free events is that sometimes students won’t show up. We had this issue since we had students register through Eventbrite. Our conference was “sold out” (105 students registered but only 36 showed up) and had a waitlist for students. Since the event was on Saturday some students didn’t attend as compared to an event where tickets have a cost, we did not have a “sold out event”. This meant that those who didn’t show up potentially took up a spot for a student who really wanted to be there.
Shawna Narayan speaks during the conference.