Celebrating Women in STEM

This week, the Science Department began to distribute a See It Be It STEM It calendar to Upper School students. This calendar is an initiative started by Linamar celebrating a group of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). This calendar introduces us to 12 women with diverse backgrounds in different areas of STEM who have taken various pathways to their current roles and careers. 

At SJK, we are proud to have a strong representation of female science, math, technology, and design teachers and are cognizant that this is not the case in many schools and STEM-based careers. 

To promote this calendar, Dr. Perrett and Ms. Regli shared some of their own personal experiences in academia with the Upper School in this video. These two science teachers have known each other since studying physics in their undergraduate at the University of Guelph (Ms. Regli studied Chemical Physics and Dr. Perrett studied Physics and Geology).
Ms. Regli pursued her Master of Chemistry degree at the University of Alberta where she synthesized photoluminescent nanoparticles for potential application to be used in cancer therapy. During this time she worked closely with a team of chemists, physicists, engineers and toxicologists. It was during this experience that she learned how to publicly speak, learn independently and communicate her understanding of science at a high level. If it was not for this experience, she would not be the teacher that she is today. During the time of her graduate degree, she noticed that there was a strong representation of women in the field of synthetic chemistry, however, the majority of senior positions (professors, research associates, post docs) appeared to be held exclusively by men. 

Dr. Perrett pursued her PhD in geochemistry at the University of Guelph where she worked on NASA’s Mars rover, Curiosity. She was provided with the amazing opportunity to work closely with many NASA scientists at multiple NASA facilities around the United States. She was a science team member on the Curiosity Mars rover, which meant she was able to help with the day-to-day operations of the rover and look at the amazing data sent back to Earth. Her research in Martian geochemistry allowed her to move to the United States and work at an Ivy League University (Cornell) for a couple of years. Here she met a number of incredible scientists, worked on other exciting space missions and gave talks to students around North America, including her alma mater, SJK. Over the 10 years she spent as a scientist, she noticed an increase in females pursuing careers in STEM, but she realized there is still more work that needs to be done to make these fields equitable. 
If you are interested in your own copy of this years See It Be It STEM It calendar, feel free to contact any of the female science teachers (Dr. Perrett, Ms. Regli, Ms. Glenville, Ms. Malcolm or Ms. George).