The Next Generation of Women in STEM
Irving Paper in Saint John, New Brunswick recently began a STEM Program at Glen Falls Elementary School that ran for 6 weeks. The purpose of the program was to educate, spark interest and excite young girls in the opportunities of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). This program was first brought to light by Tom Paisley, past Irving Paper Mill Manager. It was a seen need within our community for a program such as this. Four female full-time employees and two co-op students volunteered their time to spend with all grade four girls of Glen Falls School, Fridays over the lunch hour.
“On the first day when we asked what they wanted to be when they grew up, the majority answered ‘Doctor’ or ‘Veterinarian’, it was great to see their existing interest in the fields of STEM. I think this program though has given them the insight on other opportunities within these fields they may have not been aware of,” said Elizabeth Gibson, HR Business Partner at Irving Paper.
The program not only educated the young girls, but allowed women who are both studying and practicing professional engineering to work with grade 4 girls at Glen Falls School to show the career opportunities, ignite interest and be an example of the rewarding career paths available right here in New Brunswick.
“We all truly enjoyed spending time with these girls every week, and hope that we’ve shown at least one of them that a career in STEM doesn’t have to look the way that society may tell them it does,” said Laura Mijatovic, Process Engineer at Irving Paper.
“It’s important for young girls at this age to have an experience like this to see role model figures within a field they otherwise may not have pictured themselves studying. Exposure to STEM, through programs such as this, allow an opportunity for young girls to recognize their passion and interest in these fields without feeling pressure to follow the status quo,” said Gibson.
Are you interested in a career in STEM? Visit https://careers.jdirving.com/ to see available opportunities at J.D. Irving, Limited.