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REF NO.: 309

SUBJECT: Fifteenth annual WISE-SSEP has drawn to a close
DATE: Aug. 23, 2004

Last week marked the end of the 15th annual Women in Science and Engineering Student Summer Employment Program (WISE-SSEP). Earlier this summer 25 young female students, who will be entering high school level three in the fall, traveled from across Newfoundlandand Labrador to participate in the program. These students were given research positions at the St. John'sand Corner Brook campuses of Memorial University, the National Research Council, the Institute for Ocean Technology, MUN Botanical Garden, the Ocean Sciences Centre and the Newfoundland Science Centre.

WISE-SSEP is an initiative of Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Newfoundlandand Labrador, a not-for-profit, voluntary network of individuals working to promote and support women in science, engineering and related careers. The WISE- SSEP began 15 years ago when scientists Carolyn Emerson and Dr. Faye Murrin, of MemorialUniversityand members of WISE Newfoundland and Labrador, noted the low participation rates of females in science and engineering professions. The program is designed to promote careers in these fields to young women who would soon be making career choices, especially those in small remote communities where fewer resources are available.

In the 14 years that followed, WISE Newfoundland and Labrador has delivered the summer program with the support of Memorial Universityand numerous outside sponsors. Through eight-week paid research positions and weekly tours of facilities, these students are given the opportunity to obtain a more in depth knowledge of what science and engineering has to offer them.

Dr. Cecilia Moloney, a strong supporter of the WISE-SSEP program and the NSERC/Petro-Canada Chair for Women in Science and Engineering, believes the program is an excellent initiative. “Everyone who speaks to me about it speaks well of it – supervisors, the students themselves from this and other years, parents and others who observe it,” she said. “It gives young women from across the province an opportunity to experience real world science and engineering at a formative stage in their intellectual and social development, and helps prepare them to make more authentic choices for themselves about what they will study and do in life.”

Pamela Harris, vice-president of WISE Newfoundland and Labrador and member of the WISE- SSEP committee, said that: "much effort has gone into attaining funding to support our 15th year and my employer, Technip Offshore Canada Limited (TOCL) was again a major supporter for this program, contributing $15,000 towards the cost of travel and residency fees to allow students outside of the St. John's and Corner Brook areas to participate. Many thanks to everyone who helped bring the 2004 program together and best of luck to all the students!”

Recently, the students presented what they had learned throughout the summer to supervisors, sponsors and university administrators.

With this year's program coming to a close the WISE-SSEP committee is already making plans for next summer.

Anyone who would like more information about the program can visit the WISE Newfoundland and Labrador Web site at www.stemnet.nf.ca/WISE .

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