NSERC has named three new Chairs for Women in Science and Engineering, representing the Atlantic, Ontario and Prairies regions.

In March 2011, close to 350 Girl Guides across Ontario completed their Engineering badge at university events coordinated for National Engineering Month. As a part of Canada’s largest national celebration of engineering and technology, members of the Ontario Network of Women in Engineering (ONWiE) worked with Girl Guides Ontario to offer badge day programs at 6 locations across the province.  ONWiE members felt that National Engineering Month was a perfect time to launch this initiative because it focuses on getting more girls interested in engineering and technology.

ONWiE volunteers contributed to NEM by offering programs that meet the requirements for the Science & Technology: Engineering badge as set by Girl Guides of Canada. Girls who took part had the chance to visit engineering schools and meet with female students and staff to learn firsthand about engineering.  They also took part in hands-on activities related to different types of engineering programs. Girls and leaders were able to leave with new skills, knowledge and inspiration about the world of engineering.

The Engineering Badge Day is a new initiative for ONWiE, which has offered Go ENG Girl/Géniales, les Filles engineering outreach programs for 6 successful years.  “The badge day programs reach a younger age group and we hope to see the Girl Guides at Go ENG Girl events in a few years” says Valerie Davidson, NSERC/RIM Chair for Women in Science and Engineering-Ontario. “It is important to catch their interest at an early age and to grow their awareness of the exciting opportunities in engineering.  Many fields are so new that parents and teachers may not be aware of them.”


To mark the centennial of International Women’s Day on March 8, Innovation Canada released a video highlighting the state of women in the fields of science and engineering in Canada. The video, titled 'Women + Science' shares the stories of five women in these fields, including NSERC President Suzanne Fortier.

The video is hosted on the Canada Foundation for Innovation website.

TED conferences bring together leaders from various disciplines and locations around the globe to share Ideas Worth Spreading. In December 2010, the first TEDWomen conference focused on the question: How are women and girls reshaping the future?

Research in Motion (RIM) produced a video highlighting our work in youth outreach to be shown at the conference. The video tells our story of how we inspire and engage girls in science and engineering through robotics workshops. By incorporating creativity into the workshops and allowing the girls to decide on the type of challenge they want to try to solve, the girls are able to make richer connections to their work. Our goal is to spark an interest in designing technology so that the girls leave with new ideas about how they can design their futures.

The video is also posted on our YouTube channel.

More information on TEDWomen can be found on the TEDWomen conference home page.


Guiding Mosaic, a 10 day camp for Girl Guides and Pathfinders held in celebration of Girl Guides 100th anniversary in Canada, brought more than 2,300 girls and young women to Guelph Lake from July 8th to 17th. Girls travelling from all of Canada’s provinces and territories, and 15 different countries – as far away as Australia, Bangladesh, Jamaica, and Japan – pitched their tents and participated in workshops both on the Guelph Lake property and throughout the surrounding region.

CWSE-ON organized and hosted two workshops on campus to introduce the Guides to science, engineering, and technology. In Cosmetic Chemistry – The Science behind Makeup, participants worked in an undergraduate chemistry lab to learn about all types of interesting ingredients that find their way into makeup. The girls worked in pairs to make lip balm from sustainable ingredients, exploded bath fizzies and learned how to make their own, and created art with cabbage juice pH paper. At four workshops, more than 125 Girl Guides had the chance to connect with and be inspired by undergraduate and graduate females studying in the fields of science and engineering.


At So You Think Your Robot Can Dance workshops, girls learned all about robots and their capabilities, through videos of robots interacting in the real world and hands-on demonstrations revealing how sensors work on Lego Mindstorms robots. In small teams, participants worked together to design and program their Mindstorms robots to dance, or to perform a simulated marine rescue operation. After much teamwork and troubleshooting, demonstrations of the marine rescue operation allowed the girls to share their experiences, and the dancing robots performed for the audience. To conclude the workshops, the facilitators shared their experiences with their individual courses of study, giving the girls insight into the areas of chemistry, mechanical engineering, and computer science.

A national survey is being conducted through the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) to collect information on important aspects of professional engineers' work experience.  Among the topics covered in the survey are: starting an engineering career, the role of professional mentors, factors affecting career satisfaction, equity and fairness, and the importance to you of different types of leave. Your confidentiality is assured.  Individual responses cannot be identified.  
Please invest a few minutes of your time to complete this survey:

English:   http://www.prismeconomics.com/surveys/careersurveyeng.HTM
 French:  http://www.prismeconomics.com/surveys/careersurveyfr.HTM

If you have any questions about the survey, please contact:

Julia Melnikova 416.223.9961  or  866.763.1654 x225

Three women are flying aboard space shuttle Discovery. With another female astronaut awaiting them at the International Space Station, that makes for a record-setting four women in space at the same time.

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Engineering is a versatile discipline, with professionals working in medicine, wildlife conservation and forensics in Canada and around the world.

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Thousands of people all over the world voted and Barbie's next career will be in computer engineering. Congratulations Barbie!

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RIM, NSERC and CWSE-ON will celebrate their partnership on March 8th at the University of Guelph. Guest speakers at the presentation ceremony and dinner will be Dr. Alastair Summerlee, University of Guelph President; Dr. Suzanne Fortier, NSERC President, Mr. Robert Crow, Vice President for Industry, Government and University Relations, RIM; and Dr. Valerie Davidson, Chair for Women in Science and Engineering.

The event will feature research and images documenting the progress that has been made towards encouraging girls and young women to consider post-secondary education and careers in science, engineering and technology fields.

Over the past year, more than 8,000 people have taken part in events and initiatives supported by the Chair. “Our goal is to educate and innovate,” Davidson said. “We’re opening young minds to the possibilities of what a science education can bring and finding sustainable ways to support and increase opportunities for women pursuing science-related careers.”

“This partnership is a perfect fit for all involved,” Summerlee said. “U of G has a reputation for innovation in engineering and science and for making a difference by tackling difficult issues. RIM and NSERC are committed to reaching out to students to get them interested in these important fields.”

First created by NSERC in 2003, the Chair for Women in Science and Engineering was renewed in 2008 for another three years with RIM coming on as the industry partner. It is sustained by a $70,000 annual allocation from NSERC, which is matched by the University. RIM supports the chair through annual cash contributions and in-kind support.

Fortune magazine has named Canadian technology icon Research in Motion Ltd., maker of the BlackBerry, the world's fastest-growing company. Full Story

A University of Guelph student has been named among the top five undergraduate engineering students in Canada by the Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation (CEMF). Madavine Tom, a third-year environmental engineering student, was awarded a 2009 CEMF undergraduate engineering scholarship in recognition of her accomplishments. 

Congratulations Madavine!  Click here for the full story. 

Micha Wallace of Chatham, ON, a candidate for a Master's of Science in Engineering at the University of Guelph has been named the winner of the 2009 Vale Inco Masters Engineering Scholarship by CEMF. 

Congratulations Micha!  Click here for full story

The AWSN is offering a $3000 scholarship for women studying science and engineering in Alberta.

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Women researching topics ranging from malaria to nanotechnology have picked up prizes in the annual 'For Women in Science' awards.

Read Science and Development Article Here

WiSE Connect 2010/2011 Call for Submissions & Submission Form