Consulate General of Canada Partners with Atlanta Science Festival, Atlanta Public Schools and Wellspring Living To Connect Future Female STEM Professionals

STEM2STEM Program Links Canadian and Atlanta-Area Students with A Knack For Science

Atlanta, March 24, 2015/ Newswire — Per data provided by the Atlanta Tech Village, 80% of future jobs will require a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education, however, only 10% of high school girls show an interest in STEM.   Canada’s Consul General Louise Blais was “curious” about this imbalance and wanted to make a difference.

“The Consulate General of Canada has been a part of the Atlanta area for more than 40 years. We embrace our role as a community partner and saw an opportunity through our innovative STEM2STEM program to encourage local female students to prepare themselves for a strong future,” said Consul General Blais.

Working through the Atlanta Science Festival and with partners from the Atlanta Public Schools (APS) and Wellspring Living (Wellspring), the Consulate General of Canada team developed a program to connect local female high school students with two of their Canadian peers, Ann Makosinki and Hayley Todesco.

By the way, did we mention that Ann and Hayley are recent winners in Google’s international science fair competitions?  Ann developed a flashlight powered by human body heat.  Hayley developed an environmentally-friendly method to detoxify water used for industrial purposes.  Pretty impressive, eh?

On Friday, March 27, female high school students from the APS, Wellspring and the metropolitan Atlanta area will participate in an interactive session with Ann and Hayley and meet local female STEM professionals.  The Consulate General will host the half-day session.

“Atlanta is full of technology-focused companies.  Exposing young people to their peers, helping them make international connections and introducing them to local professionals that were also once young high school female students is a great opportunity,” said Atlanta Board of Education Member Steven Lee, who represents District 5.  Mr. Lee worked closely with the Consulate to select students from his district to participate in the inaugural program.

The Canadian Consulate also worked with Wellspring Living to recruit female students.  “Our young ladies are focused on their future.  Programs like STEM2STEM help them look forward and expose them to a wide range of career opportunities,” said Wellspring Founder/ Chief Strategic Officer Mary Frances Bowley.

“Looking at this issue from a business angle, Canada and the United States have the world’s largest bilateral partnership, trading more than $710 billion in goods and services in 2014.  As we continue to move toward more knowledge-based economies, our nations have to do all we can to prepare our students to compete in STEM fields to maintain our competitive position,” added Blais. “Programs like STEM2STEM play an important role in encouraging more female students to pursue the jobs of the future.  Together, we’re building North American competitiveness one scientist at a time. And, that’s a great thing.”

The inaugural STEM2STEM program is slated for Friday, March 27, at 10:00 AM.  The Consulate General will host the session at its offices, located at 1175 Peachtree Street, Building 100, Suite 1700, Atlanta, GA 30361.

About Atlanta Public Schools

Atlanta Public Schools is one of the largest school districts in the state of Georgia, serving approximately 50,000 students across 106 learning sites. The district is organized into nine K-12 clusters with 87 schools, 17 charter schools and two citywide single-gender academies, where students are offered rigorous instructional programs that foster success in school and life. For more information, visit www.atlantapublicschools.us.

About WellSpring Living
We are a faith based non-profit organization dedicated to serving survivors of sexual exploitation through restorative therapy. Mike Ennis serves as the organization’s CEO and President. Mary Frances Bowley is the organization’s Founder and serves as its Chief Strategic Officer. For more information, visit
www.wellspringliving.org.

About Consulate General of Canada
The Consulate General of Canada in Atlanta represents Canada in the six-state region of Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. The Consulate works to assist Canadian in the territory, supports Canadian businesses looking to expand in the U.S. Southeast and works with key business and elected leaders on a broad range of advocacy, trade and related matters. Our office is led by Consul General Louise Blais. For more information, visit www.can-am.gc.ca.

Rebecca

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