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WISE Kid-Netic Energy receives STAM Science Achievement Award

October 24, 2016 — 

Congratulations to WISE Kid-Netic Energy on receiving the STAM (Science Teachers’ Association of Manitoba) Science Achievement Award at the STAM SAG Conference and Annual General Meeting on October 21st at Westwood Collegiate.

WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) Kid-Netic Energy was established in 1990. It has grown to be one of the largest STEM not-for-profits in Canada. Their mandate is to ignite an interest and life-long passion of science and engineering in all Manitoba youth. The organization tries to serve all Manitoba youth with their programming but focuses on underrepresented groups like girls, Indigenous youth and youth facing socio-economic challenges. Annually WISE Kid-Netic Energy engages between 25,000 and 35,000 youth depending on funding levels. Since 1990 the organization has seen close to 300,000 youth.

The organization has two full-time staff and two part-time staff in the office to run the organization. Nusraat Masood is the Program Administrator, she has a Bachelors and Master’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Jill Lautenschlager is the Program Coordinator. Jill has a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor’s of Education. Lena Yusim works half-time with WISE Kid-Netic Energy and the other half-time with NSERC (Natural Science and Engineering Research Council) CWSE (Chair for Women in Science and Engineering) Prairie region. Michelle Carriere works half-time with WISE and half-time with ENGAP, an access program for Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit and Metis) students pursuing an Engineering degree. Undergraduate students pursuing degrees in science and engineering are hired to deliver outreach. During fall and winter, undergraduate students work part-time and during the spring and summer the undergraduate students work full-time. Throughout the year, approximately 30 undergraduates are hired. The organization is housed at the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Manitoba.

There are three main services that WISE Kid-Netic Energy offers Manitoba youth; they are camps, clubs and workshops. At camp, young people learn about a different career path each day. This past spring and summer camp was offered to the following 5 Indigenous communities at no cost: Norway House, Sapotoweyak, Skownan, Wanipigow (Hollow Waters) and Brokenhead. Camp was also offered to the following northern communities: Dauphin, Flin Flon, Thompson and Churchill and the following southern rural communities: Steinbach, Killarney and Morden. WISE instructors travel extensively in spring and summer, when in the city of Winnipeg the organization partners with The Boys and Girls Club of Winnipeg and IRCOM (Immigrant Refugee Community of Manitoba) and offer free camps for their youth.

WISE Kid-Netic Energy also offers girls clubs. There’s a girls clubs for grades 3-8 girls that meets 18 sessions over the school year. They go on many field trips together and are exposed to a different field of science and engineering each week. There is also an “All Girls Robot Fight Club”, which trains girls for the Manitoba Robot Games and that club is for girls in grades 7-12.

WISE Kid-Netic Energy is mostly known for their workshops, they offer over 20 workshops that are tailored to reach Manitoba Science curriculum teaching outcomes. They offer a diverse catalogue of workshops for Kindergarten to grade 12 and offer the workshops in French and English. The workshops are experiential. This year they are offering two new workshops. One is a coding workshop with tablets and robots that incorporates drag and drop programming. The other is a soldering workshop where students make a blinking circuit on printed circuit board.

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