Guest post by Jennifer Dusyk-Johnson, Cold Lake High School Science Teacher
On November 23rd sixteen students from Cold Lake High School travelled to Edmonton to join close to 300 students from across the province, to participate in the annual “Set” Conference put on by the WISEST (Women in Science Engineering and Technology) Organization from the U of A. Through participating in this conference students had an opportunity to speak with young women mentors who are currently studying in various science and technology disciplines. They also were able to participate in two different lab sessions facilitated by mentor students from the U of A, and get a feel for the campus and what campus life might be like. The session closed with an inspirational speaker Dr. Margaret Ann Armor who has received the Order of Canada and twice has been selected as one of the Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women; she related the research being done at the U of A with leading edge research worldwide including a component of the Hadron Collider designed by Professor James Pinfold, a scientist at the U of A. Overall the students had a phenomenal experience and we would like to extend a thank you to Osum Oil Sands Corporation for sponsoring this trip, which provided our students with the opportunity to participate in this exceptional conference.
Below you will also find a compilation of the students’ “take away” statements summarizing what they learned or got from participating in the conference:
“I enjoyed the chance to see what physics was about. I also really liked being able to see the orange juice oil eat away the Styrofoam cup…I found that interesting.”
Caitlin Sjodin, Grade 10
“I took away the awareness of how a university looks and what it is like being in and learning in a university classroom. I also discovered I have a passion for Biology.”
Tyrah Fiedler, Grade 10
“The mentors and university students really inspired me. I enjoyed the labs and am more educated about all of the areas and careers in science.”
Amy Dolynny, Grade 10
“At WISEST I enjoyed the labs we got to do. I found them interesting and fun. It was nice talking to the role models, it helped me understand about going to university.”
Kailyn Wiebe, Grade 11
“I really enjoyed seeing Margaret-Ann Armour and seeing some of the contributions she has made to science. It showed that if you enjoy and drive to do things you like, then you can do anything, no matter what circumstances hold you back.”
Ashlee Tomalty, Grade 12
“I found the WISEST Conference really helpful and I am glad I went on this trip. I met new people and learned a lot of things.”
Harshini Vijay, Grade 11
“I learned a lot at this conference, but my favorite part was hearing Margaret-Ann Armour speak.”
Lauren Campbell, Grade 12
“On the trip we saw women who were very passionate about what they were doing in life. It made me feel better about going into sciences as a woman. I learned that I can do simple experiments at home, and that university takes a lot of dedication. I enjoyed the experience, especially the lab workshops. Thank you for the experience.”
Justice Macauley, Grade 12
“I very much enjoyed the mentoring sessions, and the labs we did. I learned a lot about what to expect in university, and even later in life when balancing work and a personal life. All in all it was a great experience.”
Allyssa Mills, Grade 12
“I enjoyed seeing the university itself, seeing the classrooms and doing the labs we did.”
Lauren Reider, Grade 11
“I took away that it is important to follow your passion. Listening to the role models talk about their own experiences inspired me. I am more educated about the jobs that are in the field of science. I really enjoyed the experiments we did, and I enjoyed listening to Margaret-Ann Armour talk.”
Lauren Hillaby, Grade 12
“I learned a lot about what it’s like to be in university and it also helped me figure out what I want to be when I graduate.”
JoJo Deady, Grade 11
“At the WISEST conference I learned a lot about the science programs at the university. It helped me with my decision about going to the U of A.”
Jillian Wychopen, Grade 10
“I enjoyed all of the activities that we did, and I enjoyed Margaret-Ann Armour’s speech at the end of the day. I learned a lot.”
Michaela Coulter, Grade 10
“Personally I feel my favorite part was the sit-down with the mentor women, where they told us what it’s like to have a career in science, like in the world of engineering.”
Nicole Gillespie, Grade 11
“What I took away from the WISEST conference was that there are so many areas of study, and that life is a journey of learning. Also, it was really nice to have a meeting with women who are in a specific career, and learn how they are able to balance their work and personal lives. Another great thing was being able to do the hands-on experiments; it really allowed us to feel and experience something new.”
Hanna Cox, Grade 10
Osum was the “Titanium Sponsor” of the team for the 2010-2011 season, and what a season it was.
Osum was the presenting sponsor of the Junior B Provincials held in Cold Lake in April 2009, and extends congratulations to the tournament champions (the Lloydminster Bandits) as well as all the teams for an outstanding season; it is quite an achievement to make it to the Provincials.
At Osum, we want to help build great communities: positive and enjoyable places for our employees to live and work. We believe that Junior Hockey in Alberta is one of the things that makes our communities great.
Congratulations to the Cold Lake Ice, the City of Cold Lake, Don Nuttall, Vivien Cormier, Cory Broadhead, tournament chairperson Clint Cook and all the incredible volunteers who made the event a smashing success.
That’s the reason we wanted something really inspiring – something that would leave students with skills they could take with them for the rest of their lives – to kick off our partnership with the Cold Lake High School Science Team this year.
So we started by asking the science teachers what they needed, and based on their response, we were able to provide funding to outfit the science labs at the new High School with lots of equipment.
But that was just the beginning. Thanks to the incredible team of science teachers, we were able to put a lot of people together and organize the “Osum Science of Innovation & Sport Challenge.” For this event, two time Olympic gold medalist Catriona Le May Doan and innovation experts Larry Shubert and Scott Underwood were brought in to lead the students through an incredible action packed two days of innovation, inspiration and science.
You can also read Larry & Scott’s summary of the event here.
Photos from the innovation workshop:
Gus and Liberty, Osum’s mascots, put in an appearance at the 2009 Festival of Words held in Cold Lake on January 31, 2009. A large crowd attended the literacy festival, enjoying a number of interactive activities for family members of all ages. Gus and Liberty were the hit of the festival, sharing their word games.