News: UBC eng-cite receives NSERC grant to promote young girls’ interest in engineering

Original Media Release

UBC eng-cite has been awarded a $33,000 grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s PromoScience Program.

The PromoScience Program aims to promote interest and skills in natural sciences and engineering among Canada’s young people — particularly those in underrepresented groups, including girls and Indigenous peoples — through interactive, hands-on learning experiences.

eng-cite currently provides free workshops and clubs that aim to inspire girls to study and pursue careers in engineering. With NSERC’s funds, it will now be able to offer an online mentorship program, as well as after-school clubs at additional schools and libraries in Vancouver, Surrey and Kelowna. (Clubs are already running at two branches of the Vancouver Public Library — Mount Pleasant and Fraserview — and Britannia and John Oliver secondary schools.)

Specifically targeting low-income, Indigenous, and newcomer girls in the Lower Mainland and Okanagan, these clubs and mentors will expose the girls to life as an engineering student or working engineer by engaging them in activities such as designing prosthetic hands and building electric circuits.

Over 800 girls have participated in eng-cite program initiatives over the last year alone. The ultimate goal is to increase female enrollment in engineering to 50 per cent by 2020.