On May 25, 2018, Schulich Leaders from six universities joined forces with a team of Googlers and Engineering Science Quest to impart a day of STEM related activities for 60 grade nine girls. These students came from 15 high schools in the Kitchener-Waterloo area and all show great potential in the STEM fields. The objective of this event was to encourage these students to continue on a path in STEM beyond grade nine, an inflection point for many high school students who can choose another path of focus in grade ten and beyond.
The event kicked off with Melissa Dominguez, a Senior Software Developer at Google, who gave a keynote address and Q&A presentation about her storied journey to Google Canada. After her inspiring presentation, Schulich Leaders engaged the crowd with a host of activities highlighting women role models in STEM fields. This was followed by a careers panel moderated by Schulich Leaders Haleema Khan (U of T) and Kaylie Lau (McMaster) and featuring seasoned Googlers from a host of divisions. From there, Schulich Leaders Emma Mogus (McMaster), Kyra McLellan (YorkU), Arma Khan (YorkU) and Isabel Hazan (Queen'sU) gave compelling lightning talks to give the students a taste of what current university students are doing and aspiring towards with a STEM degree in their back pocket.
Thank you to our hosts, Google Canada and our Schulich Leader ambassadors for serving as exemplary role models for these emerging STEM stars in the Kitchener-Waterloo region!
Below are some photos and testimonials from the Schulich Leaders who were equally empowered by "Girls @ Google" as their grade nine counterparts!
"Participating in the Girls @ Google event was very appealing to me as it was also aimed at addressing this gender imbalance. Myself, other Schulich Leaders and Googlers were able to promote awareness about STEM and encourage more girls to pursue careers in STEM." -Kaylie Lau, Electrical & Biomedical Engineering at McMaster University
"I think the biggest thing I took away from this event was that women aren’t alone in STEM. There are so many stories of incredible women doing incredible things, and it’s really important that we recognize their contributions. Not only does it give tribute to hard working women, but it also inspires the next generation of STEM females." -Kyra McLellan, Mechanical Engineering at York University
"It was invigorating to see the potential for these girls to make waves in the world of STEM. Many of them were more educated and aware about the fields they could go into and the opportunities that exist than I could even fathom at that age. Progress is certainly being made, and it is our responsibility to fuel that momentum and encourage them to bring their talent to fruition in these fields!"-Isabel Hazan, Engineering, Queen's University
See Isabel's lightning talk by clicking here.
"I have a passion to teach and be a mentor. This event allowed Schulich Leaders to share their stories and I hope it was helpful to the grade 9 students. I wanted to help students by being the resource or mentor that I did not experience in grade 9. I hope through this event, it will encourage other postsecondary students to reach out to high school students." -Julia Won, Biopsychology, U of T
"I think events like this one are incredibly important bringing together stories and experiences from women who have overcome challenges to pursue their interests. This event gave me the opportunity to meet various female Googlers who are making a difference through the work they are doing. I have always known that women do amazing things in this industry, however hearing this in real life was incredibly inspiring and motivating." -Kaylie Lau
"By nurturing the next generation of innovators and change-makers through events like these, we can finally access the untapped potential of women in STEM. It's important to note that this issue is not one-sided, and its impacts are not limited to only half of the population. It is only when all of us recognize the benefits of enrolling the entire population to pursue their interests in these fields that we will progress at a rate exceeding that which we have in the past." - Isabel Hazan