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Cybermentor program receives $70,000 NSERC PromoScience grant

Funding will assist STEM mentoring program for girls
June 23, 2014

Cybermentor connects girls in grades 6 to 12 to mentors in science, technology, engineering and mathematics - the STEM subjects.

Cybermentor participants show off their birdhouse-inspired musical mailbox during a Cybermentor program workshop on May 10th, 2014. Nearly 60 girls learned about electrical engineering, computer programming, and design during the 4-hour engineering workshop.

 

Cybermentor, an online mentorship program that matches girls with successful female role models in science and engineering, has been awarded a PromoScience grant for $70,000 over three years from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research (NSERC) Council of Canada.

NSERC's PromoScience Program offers financial support for organizations working with young Canadians to promote an understanding of science and engineering.

Cybermentor inspires girls in grades 6 to 12 to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The province-wide program was founded in 2001 by University of Calgary President Elizabeth Cannon while she was a professor at the Schulich School of Engineering.

“The girls who participate in Cybermentor have told me what a difference having a supportive female mentor has made to them,” says Cybermentor director Brandi Chuchman. “That’s what makes this funding so exciting – we will be able to reach more girls, and have a deeper impact on their career paths as this country’s future scientists and engineers.”

The grant will support the development of a brand new, modern web system that will drastically increase the quality and impact of the program.  Staff positions will be added at the University of Alberta to increase the program’s reach in Northern Alberta, and increase engagement of both girls and women in STEM across the province.

"The PromoScience grant provides the funds required to update the online mentoring platform for Cybermentor,” says Josephine Hill, professor in the Schulich School of Engineering’s chemical and petroleum engineering department, and the academic advisor for Cybermentor. “I continue to meet women in engineering who say that a female role model was a huge factor in their career choice. It is so important that we continue to provide programs like Cybermentor, in which girls have role models, to reach our diversity targets in the Schulich School of Engineering."

Cybermentor is also delighted to announce funding from the Government of Alberta’s Science Awareness program, a part of Innovation and Advanced Education. The new provincial government grant will contribute to the program’s goals and continued expansion.

For more information on Cybermentor, visit www.cybermentor.ca