Dr Judy Lupart,
Dr Elizabeth Cannon
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Studies have shown that, after age 11, girls start to lose interest in science and math courses, which are requirements for science and engineering college programs. The current participation of women in undergraduate engineering programs is about 22% in Alberta universities, while that of women in science programs is about 38%, and only 15% in some fields such as computer science. With Alberta's focus on developing a strong science culture to fuel the diversification and growth of or economy, it has been recognized that we must generate a diverse pool of qualified individuals who have the opportunity to contribute to the knowledge-base sector. In particular, Alberta has committed to grow its Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) sector from its current size of 40,000 knowledge workers to 110,000 by 2010. It is therefore imperative that women role models are accessible to young women so that they can see the opportunities and paths for success in these fields. The SCIberMENTOR Project is an email mentoring program where Alberta girls aged 11-18 years of age are linked to women students at the Alberta Universities who are studying science and engineering, and practicing women scientists and engineers on a one-to-one basis, who will provide mentorship in the form of career information, advice, and encouragement. The SCIberMENTOR email- mentoring program is currently in its third year of operation with over 750 participants now enrolled as mentors and mentees. The program has received very positive feedback from the participants and the community at large. In this presentation there will be a brief overview of the SCIberMENTOR program, the results of the second year evaluation and selected results of the associated research.

Keywords: Science Promotion, Females, Email Mentoring
Stream: Knowledge and Technology
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English

Dr Judy Lupart

Professor, Department of Educational Psychology Faculty of Education, University of Alberta

Dr Elizabeth Cannon

Professor and Head, Department of Geomatics Engineering Faculty of Engineering, University of Calgary
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Dr M. Elizabeth Cannon is Professor and Head of the Department of Geomatics Engineering at the University of Calgary where she conducts research and teaching in the area of satellite navigation for land, air and marine applications. From 1997-2002, Elizabeth held the NSERC/Petro-Canada Chair for Women in Science and Engineering for the Prairie Region where she worked to promote science and engineering to girls. She has also developed innovative programs, such as an email mentoring program (SCIberMENTOR), to encourage and retain women in science and engineering-based fields, of which she continues to lead.

Ref: T05P0231