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.
Operation Minerva Supporting Documents:
2013 Brochure (pdf)
- 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:
- 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.
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.
Volunteers: 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 email@example.com.
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).
To become involved with Operation Minerva please contact us via email or at 403-527-5365.
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:
- Alberta Women's Science Network (AWSN) & the AWSN Scholarship $3000
- Making Science Fun for Girls (The Globe & Mail)
- Science, Beautiful Science (The Globe & Mail)
- A Celebrated Career, Started by a Teacher (The Globe & Mail)
- What is the L’OréalFoundation? (The Globe & Mail)
- More Women Entering Science Careers (Calgary Herald)
- Gender Math Gap is Cultural Not Biological (MSNBC News)
- Aspire to Inspire (Nasa)
- Girls and Science: A Dream Deferred http://www.edutopia.org/blog/girls-and-science-dream-deferred
- Young women scientists and engineers who wowed President Obama at the White House Science Fair in February 2012, shines a spotlight on these extraordinary young role models and their exciting projects -- ranging from a machine that detects buried landmines, to a prosthetic hand device, to a lunchbox that uses UV light to kill bacteria on food. YouTube video
- CNN Science has a Girl Problem Check out the stats in this video.
- For Women to Think Mathematically, Colleges Should Think Creatively
- In 2011 three young women swept the top prizes of the first Google Science Fair. At TEDx Women Lauren Hodge, Shree Bose and Naomi Shah described their extraordinary projects -- and their route to a passion for science.