Techsploration Dedication – Meet Margaret ‘Mags’ Davidson
Blog Post by Kelsey Crosby, Techsploration Volunteer and Acadia University Student
In case you missed the memo: Techsploration will kick-off its 20th anniversary this coming year at its annual program launch on November 24th! Among the thousands of amazing volunteers and alumnae who have participated in Techsploration programming over the past nineteen years, one volunteer has experienced the program each year from day one to present day. Margaret Davidson, whom most affectionately refer to as ‘Mags’, was a member of the first graduating class of Techsplorers in 1998 and the first recipient of a Techsploration scholarship (which helped her pursue technical training at NSCC). Since graduating, Mags has volunteered with the program each and every year (just ask her about her Techsploration t-shirt collection)!
Mags grew up in the very small town of Fisherman’s Harbour. She often worked alongside her father, an engineer, and knew she wanted to pursue a career path that involved working with her hands. Mags was no stranger to changing oil, cutting grass, fixing fishing boats or any other task that might have been traditionally assigned to a man. With encouragement from her father, she was supported in taking on such jobs. That sense of empowerment and support is something she strives to pass down to the young women who participate in Techsploration each year. Techsploration has provided Mags with a safe environment for her to come out of her shell, and she is now comfortable speaking in front of others and sharing her love for the program and all that it sets-out to accomplish: empowering young women to consider careers in science, trades, and technology.
“Techsploration is really about empowerment. It sends the message that young women can do anything they want to,” says Mags.
While focused on encouraging young women, Mags believes that Techsploration is really for everyone. It is just as important for young boys and community members to erase stereotypes and stigmas that can discourage women from participating in more technical fields.
Techsploration was, and continues to be, a great experience for Mags. In 1998, when she participated in the inaugural year of the program, computers were not considered an everyday household item. As technology has evolved, so has Techsploration. The organization continues to grow with support from industry and is no longer Nova Scotia’s ‘best kept secret’ as more and more people learn about the program and the positive impact it’s having on young women and our larger communities.
Today, Mags is the mother of an eight-year-old son and a four-year-old daughter. She hopes both of her children can grow up in a world where they know no boundaries. She wants Techsploration to be a tool to show her children that they can be anything they want to be. Her main goal as a volunteer of Techsploration is to continue to be a proud and vocal advocate for the program. She believes the program provides a positive, supportive environment for young women to build confidence and remove the word ‘can’t’ from their vocabulary: “Techsploration pushed me out of my comfort zone, which encouraged me to take risks when I normally wouldn’t. It’s been the voice in the back of my head telling me to do something I’m passionate about.”