Archived — Government of Canada Helping Young Girls Explore Careers in Science

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For immediate release
February 2, 2012

Kitchener, Ontario – The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), today announced a Government of Canada investment of up to $23,820 for the Canadian Association for Girls in Science (CAGIS).

With this funding, CAGIS will open three new chapters in southern Ontario, and will better support its existing chapters located in London, Kitchener-Waterloo-Guelph, Hamilton, Oakville, Toronto, and Ottawa. CAGIS also aims to attract more participants to its biannual open house, and improve its web site.

"Our government recognizes that to drive future innovation in southern Ontario, we need to expose students to STEM fields at a young age," said Minister of State Goodyear. "This investment will help encourage girls in southern Ontario to become tomorrow's innovators and scientists and help build a stronger and more productive Canada."

The investment is being provided through FedDev Ontario's Youth STEM Initiative, aimed at encouraging students in kindergarten through grade 12 to pursue an education or career in STEM fields.

A 2010 report from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council noted women made up 37 per cent of Canada's undergraduate students in science and engineering in 2008–09. A report from Statistics Canada that same year found women made up 22.3 per cent of the workforce in the fields of natural sciences, engineering and mathematics in 2009. Through its work, CAGIS is aiming to close this gap.

"This investment will allow us to bring the message that science is fun to a wider audience of girls in southern Ontario, and help us encourage them to pursue education and careers in the STEM fields," said Ms. Vingilis-Jaremko, president of CAGIS, who, at the age of nine, founded the organization in 1992 as a way to help bring young girls together to learn about STEM and the career opportunities available in those fields.

For more information on the Canadian Association for Girls in Science, please visit www.cagis.ca.

Created in 2009, FedDev Ontario supports the southern Ontario economy by building on the region's strengths and creating opportunities for jobs and economic growth. The Agency has launched a number of initiatives to create a Southern Ontario Advantage and place the region in a strong position to compete in the global economy. These initiatives are designed to encourage partnerships and support projects that help the region's businesses and communities become more competitive, innovative and diversified. To learn more, please visit www.feddevontario.gc.ca or call 1-866-593-5505.

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For more information, contact:

Jay Jacobson
Director of Communications
Office of the Hon. Gary Goodyear
Minister of State for Science and Technology, and Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
613-947-2956

Media Relations
FedDev Ontario
519-571-6879

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