Operation *Minerva

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(*Minerva: the Roman goddess of wisdom and the arts, identified with the Greek Athena. Her  name contains the same root as mens, meaning thought. Read more: Wikipedia or Answers.com)

only search the Praxis Society Medicine Hat website

Operation Minerva is a project organized by a committee of community professionals working in the math, science and technology fields. The purpose of Operation Minerva is to develop awareness in young women of their own abilities as well as the career opportunities that exist in these fields. The conference involves job shadowing with women role models, and could include innovative workshops/displays, formal/informal group discussions and onsite tours. (2012 Operation Minerva Summary Report pdf 5.37 Mb)

Operation Minerva is  a one day conference hosted at MHHS (thank you Hat High) for grade nine girls  to become engaged and interested in careers in the Science, Technology, Engineering  and Mathematics; the STEM fields. Since 1992 girls, identified by their teacher from all school districts / divisions in South  Eastern Alberta have come together to participate in a busy day of discovery.  Through job-shadowing and conference workshop sessions the girls are exposed to  a multitude of experiences in the STEM fields.

Check out the Operation Minerva Archives for pictures and more!


Operation Minerva Supporting Documents: 

2013 Brochure (pdf)


Participant Application Form (pdf) (docx)


Operation Minerva Itinerary (pdf) (docx)


Workshop Session Topics (pdf) (docx)

  • Note to all Operation Minerva participants: You need to download the above Workshop Session Topics form, complete it and submit it via email or fax ASAP. Participants who submit their forms early have the greatest probability of receiving their preferred choices. Your Operation Minerva packages have been put into the delivery system and you should be receiving it shortly. Please remember to bring this package to the conference.

Students attend a job shadowing opportunity in the morning (9:30 - 11:30 am), lunch is provided in the Richard E. Taylor Science Wing of MHHS and workshops in the afternoon (1:00 - 4:00 pm) at MHHS. Suggested questions that are provided to the girls to ask their job shadow mentor:

 "What to Ask Your Mentor?" (pdf) (docx)

 Praxis Operation Minerva
Operation Minerva in grade 9 opened my eyes to a world of science that women can actually participate in; a field that I thought was largely dominated by males. It helped me decide that I really enjoy sciences and decided to consider it as a post-secondary option.
— Operation Minerva Participant

Goals of Minerva:     

    • To  inform parents, educators and public regarding the small numbers of girls  choosing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses and  careers.
    • To increase the interest of adolescent girls  in the STEM fields of study.
    • To increase support from educational  institutions, government and the private sector for women’s involvement in the  STEM areas.
    • To educate the general public and the media  of the need to involve girls in science and technology.
    • To  dispel, in the minds of students the "scientists" myths and “geek”  stereotypes.
    • To  showcase the importance that women in South East Alberta currently play in  Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (the STEM areas) the career  opportunities available to them.
    • To  provide girls with the opportunity to meet positive female role models and  possible mentors in scientific and technological fields.
    • To  foster network building among young female students to encourage a positive  environment supporting achievement in the math and sciences.
    • To  demonstrate through direct experience (job shadowing and hands-on workshops)  that the STEM areas can be challenging and yet interesting or even exciting.
    • To provide positive and stimulating  experiences for young adolescent girls so they can experience “fun” in an effort to  enhance and foster positive attitudes towards courses and careers choices in the  STEM areas.
    • To  provide an experiential base to assist the girls in their decision making when  planning their high school and post secondary educational programs.
    • To  increase the numbers of girls pursuing STEM area career paths.
    • To increase media exposure for the STEM  areas resulting in greater public understanding of the impact of science and  technology in society.
 AWSN - Alberta Women's Science Network

AWSN - Alberta Women's Science Network

Operation Minerva - Calgary: A Three Year Study (2006). Findings indicate that participation in Operation Minerva is effective at encouraging girls to pursue Science (pdf docx). Note: The Alberta Women's Science Network, one of our Conference sponsors, is based in Calgary and hosts Operation Minerva in that city.

Please Help
In order to provide  this extremely positive opportunity at minimal cost to the participants much of  December’s energy will be spent organizing for this event. We require  volunteers in the STEM areas for the girls to job shadow (2 hours), host workshops (40 minutes) and local  business to provide donations to the participating girls with tangible  reminders of their experience. Click this link for more information on mentoring two or more girls (pdf) (docx). Volunteers are required by Praxis policy to have on file a completed "Mentor/Presenter Volunteer Application" (pdf) (docx) and/or a current "Police Information Check" (pdf) (docx). Mentors may send their applications or information updates to praxis@praxismh.ca.

Service to youth is the rent we pay for the space we occupy on earth.
— Jane Deeter Rippin

Businesses: We would also appreciate business donations towards snacks, the luncheon, participation prizes and gift bags for the girls and volunteers  ("Business Donation Request Letter" pdf docx), please contact us if you can assist us in any  one of these areas. Please note our participants sign a confidentiality agreement (pdf docx).

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.
— Aesop

To become involved with Operation Minerva  please contact us via email or at 403-527-5365.

OM Female Scientist.jpg

Scholarship in your Future?  Are you a young woman who is a continuing full time undergraduate student entering at the least second year of a program    in science or engineering at an Alberta university, college, or technical institute?    Have you demonstrated leadership in the academic or community setting? If you can say yes to both these questions then you may qualify for the $3000 AWSN scholarship.

Operation Minerva participants should keep this special opportunity in mind when you have completed your first year of post secondary education.

Links that provide Food for Thought:

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