SOURCE: University of Calgary

University of Calgary

May 04, 2016 10:00 ET

Girls discover the wonders of information technology

Explore IT encourages girls to consider STEM careers through interactive workshops

CALGARY, AB--(Marketwired - May 04, 2016) -  More than 700 girls from Grade 9 classes around Calgary are getting hands-on experience in the world of science, engineering and information technology at the University of Calgary, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) and Mount Royal University today.

The 17th annual Explore IT event is an interactive conference for grade nine girls to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Through interactive workshops, information sharing and keynote speakers, young women are given a sneak peak into the tantalizing world of high tech on all three campuses. At last year's event, over 75% of participants at Explore IT indicated that they would consider pursuing such a career in STEM.

"Increasing awareness of the career possibilities in STEM will lead the way towards greater diversity in these fields," says Qiao Sun, associate dean (diversity and equity) at the Schulich School of Engineering. "Explore IT is an excellent opportunity to encourage young women to grow, discover their passion and interests."

Participants at the University of Calgary's Schulich School of Engineering can choose their own technology adventure from eight interactive design workshops. Students will have opportunities to locate treasure on campus with GPS, program computer games as well as design a snowflake using code and bring it life with a 3D printer.

At SAIT, the young women can try their hand at developing a mobile app, use desktop publishing software for graphic design projects or learn how to detect computer threats and bugs that can infect your system. Explore IT participants at SAIT can also dip their toe into the world of trades -- sheet metal, plumbing and automotive -- to see if that may be an alternate career choice for them.

Mount Royal University gets students in state-of-the-art labs and behind the scenes of Mount Royal to discover the chemistry behind beauty products, takeoff in an aviation simulator or unearth environmental mysteries. The young women can also play in a virtual 3D world by creating their own animated story or have fun uncovering secrets through the science of secrecy using cryptography. 


The University of Calgary is making tremendous progress on its journey to become one of Canada's top five research universities, where research and innovative teaching go hand in hand, and where we fully engage the communities we both serve and lead. This strategy is called Eyes High, inspired by the university's Gaelic motto, which translates as 'I will lift up my eyes.'

For more information, visit Stay up to date with University of Calgary news headlines on Twitter @UCalgary. For details on faculties and how to reach experts go to our media centre at


The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) is a global leader in applied education, driven by enterprising collaborations with people and partners from around the world. Action-based learning in more than 100 career programs and over 1,400 part-time courses (including online and distance) empowers students to find success and build a future as entrepreneurs, leaders and community builders. SAIT's passion for excellence and clear strategic direction has resulted in recognition as one of Alberta's Top Employers and one of the top three research colleges in Canada.


Mount Royal University is one of Canada's top destinations for undergraduate studies. It offers small class sizes and personalized student services within a scholarly community renowned for academic excellence and a focus on teaching and learning. Founded in 1910, Mount Royal remains dedicated to the success of its students. Today, over 12,500 credit students take a variety of programs and courses including bachelor's degrees and diplomas. More than 85,000 Mount Royal alumni are contributing to their communities world-wide. 

Contact Information

  • Media Contacts:

    University of Calgary
    Lisha Hassanali
    Media Relations Officer
    Cell: 403-463-4336

    Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
    Melanie Simmons
    Public Relations Specialist
    Direct: 403.284.8473

    Mount Royal University
    Bryan Weismiller
    Communications Officer, Media Relations
    Phone: 403.440.6460
    Cell: 403.463.6930