While attending a seminar on microprocessors in early 1982, Dr. Gordin Kaplan, the first University of Alberta Vice-President (Research), noted that there was only one woman among the 150 participants present.

This triggered the formation of WISEST - with a mandate to investigate the reasons why few young women were choosing careers in science and engineering, to take action to alter the situation, and to work to increase the percentage of women in decision-making roles in all fields of scholarship.

WISEST collaborates with industry, government, academia, and over 600 volunteers a year to deliver programs and networks that increase the diversity of voices represented in science, engineering and technology, thus strengthening the workplace and society. We have also expanded our programming to pay specific attention to encouraging Aboriginal students to pursue their gifts in the sciences. 

WISEST programs and networks have thus been designed to engage and encourage young people at integral points in their education and career paths.

We continue to ensure that our current programs are relevant and effective in the message being delivered.

Choices Conference: a day of science activities for 600 Grade 6 students and their teachers.

Tales from the Science Buffalo: a series of classroom visits with interactive presentations and hands-on activities that integrate Aboriginal Perspectives into the Grade 6 science curriculum. 

Meet-a-Mentor: a videoconferencing collaboration with 2Learn.ca Education Society featuring dynamic science, engineering and technology role models and experiments. [Currently Program is Inactive]

IlluminateIT: evening or weekend sessions that invite young women into the exciting world of Information Technology [Currently Program is Inactive]

SET Conference: a one-day immersion into the sciences for 200 High School students.

Summer Research Program: a hands-on research experience for 60 Grade 11 female and male students.

We support networks for undergraduates, graduates, and early-career female professionals in science and engineering.

UA-WiSE  (University of Alberta – Women in Science and Engineering) a learning and support group for undergraduate women in the fields of science and engineering.

WISER  (Women in Science, Engineering, and Research) to connect early-career women in STEM with each other and with the information, resources, support, and professional development opportunities they require to advance in their careers.

We invite you to be part of something special and join WISEST as a volunteer or as an industry, government, or academic partner. WISEST is funded by the University of Alberta and through donations from corporations, individuals and the public sector. 


Watch this quick video on the Founding Chair of WISEST, Dr. Margaret-Ann Armour to get an idea of our vision and impact.



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Support WISEST


Building interest
WISEST attracts young people to science, engineering and technology by developing and implementing engaging programs such as Choices, SET, and the Summer Research Program.

Building strengths
WISEST retains women in science, engineering and technology by nuturing and encouraging their interests through programs such as the Summer Research Program and the UA-WiSE and WISER networks.

Building careers 
WISEST advances women in science, engineering and technology through initiatives such as the WISER Network and the Annual WISEST Lecture, as well as professional development and networking opportunities.