The 2014 Quantum Leaps conference was a huge success by any measure. With a goal of increasing the numbers of females entering into science, trades or technology, the conference exposed 79 girls in Grades 10-12 from four school districts in the Kootenay/Boundary region to different career fields. Beginning with a keynote by Dr. Elizabeth Croft, UBC Professor of Mechanical Engineering, students were able to witness robots in action, which students noted was “interesting,” “highly illuminating” and “informative.”
Selkirk College instructors led hands-on workshops in Biology, Electrical Trades, Geography, GIS, Nursing and Digital Arts, and students were impressed. Students also attended a career panel of women working in science, technology and the trades.
Responses from participants was enthusiastic. About the career panel, girls reported: “We got to meet with successful women in science, hear what they did to get there, and ask them questions,” and, “to hear from professionals in the field was amazing.“
Sixty percent of students stated that they learned about new careers. In particular, 40% had never heard of GIS; 15% learned about a new aspect of nursing; and 12% stated that they gained knowledge about Digital Arts and Forensic Sciences.
Seventy-six percent of students stated that Quantum Leaps had made them think about pursuing a new career. Almost 30% stated that they were considering entering nursing, while 26% stated that they were considering entering the electrical trade. More than one in ten girls (11%) stated that they were considering careers in GIS, Engineering, Forensic Sciences and Biology.
As for the end result of Quantum Leaps’ influence on girls interest in science?
- 79% had an increased interest in science as a result of Quantum Leaps;
- 79% are motivated to pursue studies in science; and
- 80% are now considering careers in science.
A big thank you to our Quantum Leaps sponsors: