Sixteen Peace High students exposed to university life and exciting career opportunities
Extracting DNA from e-coli cells, speaking with women role models and touring lecture halls is how sixteen Peace River High School (PRHS) students spent an action packed day at the University of Alberta (UofA) during the annual SET conference.
“It’s a great opportunity for young women” says Sandra Scott-Wilkes, PRSD educator and trip supervisor. “They can meet successful women in the field of science, engineering and technology and discover a world of exciting career opportunities.”
During the November 16 conference, students also took part in hands-on experiments that involved dissecting equipment, analysing social media data and using state of the art lab equipment. Ayden Aspeslet, grade twelve PRHS student and Meredith Shewchuk, grade ten PRHS student both agree the experience provided a feel for university life and a snapshot of how to prepare for post-secondary.
“There was lots of helpful information to help to prepare us for post-secondary” says Merideth. “It was cool, we seen a lecture hall and got an idea of what university atmosphere is like” says Ayden.
The conference sponsored by Women in Scholarship, Engineering, Science and Technology (WISEST) is geared to encourage young women to choose careers in the science, technology and engineering, learn about work-life balance and see what university life is really like. In addition to the SET conference, WISEST offers a paid summer internship program. Allyson Shewchuk, PRHS grade eleven student says she is considering applying for the program.
“During the six week summer internship you work in a lab focused on science, technology and engineering” says Allyson. “You get to live in dorms with like-minded people, experience university life and at the end of the summer you do a presentation – it’s a once in a lifetime experience.”
“We hope the conference will open their minds to opportunities available that they might not have thought of otherwise” says Jenny Harpe, PRHS educator and trip supervisor.
PRHS thanks Daishowa-Marubeni International Ltd. (DMI) for their support in sponsoring the bus to Edmonton. Students are planning a trip to DMI to share their learning and experiences from the conference.