a WISE-r place to be
The sun is shining, the hallways are less hectic, and theres
a 16-year old girl doing complex experiments in the chemistry
lab. This isnt unusual: this is the WISE summer employment
Now in its 12th successful year, WISE pairs Grade 11 girls from
across the province with Memorial University supervisors for
the purpose of acquiring paid experience and maximizing interest
in science, technology, math and engineering. The program runs
for eight weeks at both the St. Johns and Sir Wilfred Grenfell
While the positions in St. Johns tend to focus on science,
computing, medicine, and engineering, WISE students at Grenfell
participate in mathematics, entomology, freshwater habitat, and
Organized by the Newfoundland and Labrador Chapter of Women in
Science and Engineering (WISE), and with major support from Human
Resources Development Canada, Industry Canadas PromoScience,
and Memorial University, this years WISE program is also
benefiting from support by Coflexip Stena Offshore, which enabled
the group to bring the five Corner Brook-based students into
St. Johns from July 25-29, to connect with their colleagues
in the provincial capital for a full slate of activities including
facility tours and job-sharing.
Hampden native Cathy Regular reported, Were visiting
a couple of different jobs and places like the Institute for
Marine Dynamics, so we get to experience things we might not
had we stayed in Corner Brook, and find our way around this part
of the university, too.
Program coordinator Christina Freeborn, herself a former WISE
student, says its important to bring the two groups together.
We try to ensure a level of consistency between how the
program is delivered in both Corner Brook and St. Johns,
Ms. Freeborn said. This way, although theyre working
in one field, they gain exposure in others and realize the many
different career opportunities available to them.
Ms. Freeborn explained that the entire group would get together
for a whale and bird watching tour, a barbecue, and a slumber
party. The program is also about fun and friendship, and
we find the participants really value that aspect of it,
she said. So introducing the two groups is about helping
to create some cohesion, and letting them discover from one another
different parts of the program.
Gillams resident Amanda Parsons reported that shes having
a great time learning with WISE. I enjoy the fact that
I get to work in the field a lot, Ms. Parsons said. I
get to map a river, and I work closely with survey teams, so
its pretty fun.
Stephanie Parsons and Allison Reid, both from Pasadena and both
working in the Mathematics Department at Grenfell, said they
expect the experience will stand them in good stead for the long-run.
I think itll help my problem-solving and math skills
next year in high school, Ms. Parsons said. I want
to become a physiotherapist, Ms. Reid said, so working
with maths and sciences can help me get more experience in and
understand better what Im going to be doing.
Likewise, Megin Marshall of Corner Brook said she applied to
the program in order to explore her professional options.
I want to be a nurse, she said, and I wanted to see
what it was like and see if theres anything else that I
might be interested in, in the science field.
Co-directors Carolyn J. Emerson and Dr. Faye Murrin note the
success of the program in encouraging so many former WISE students
to return to Memorial for their post-secondary education, and
going on to contribute their talents in science and engineering
This years WISE summer employment program runs until Aug.