Power To Choose Aboriginal Youth STEM Programs
Exploring the Science in Culture and Culture in Science
Our mission is to empower aboriginal youth with the power of choice; in their future jobs and life. We hope to excite them about science subjects in age- and culturally- relevant ways so they stay in school and keep science subjects in their school plans. Science subjects teach critical thinking and problem solving: skills needed to open career doors and make good choices in life.
We accomplish our goals through 1 day events, a 3 day summer science camp, and connecting youth with aboriginal science mentors. We have been told how important it is for aboriginal youth to discover that places like a university are places for them, so most of our programming is held at the University of Calgary. All events are hands-on, minds-on and just plain fun. Always, we strive to provide programming, housing, and travel for aboriginal youth and their parents so there is no cost barrier to their attendance.
Power To Choose is one of the Recruitment programs hosted by AWSN. Visit them at www.awsn.org to learn more. In 2007, AWSN began a program to find female, aboriginal STEM professionals to serve as mentors for aboriginal girls. In 2009, the first Operation Minerva for Aboriginal Girls program was offered. Based on Operation Minerva, this event was a 1 day job-shadowing event for Grade 7-9 girls from all over southern Alberta and enabled these girls to meet the aboriginal mentors in the work place. In 2011, in partnership with Aboriginal Health at the University of Calgary, a large event hosted both boys and girls, Grades 7-12, and the whole program was subsequently renamed Power to Choose. The idea for summer camps came from the youth themselves: travel for a one day event limits the number of things you can do.