About the Program
Considered a national best practice, Techsploration’s award-winning 4-phase program model provides young women and non-binary youth in Grades 9 through 12 with opportunities to explore science, engineering, trades, and technology occupations, while creating awareness about the critical role of work in their lives. It also helps them understand the significance of high school math and science for their future careers.
What are the benefits to the participants?
The benefits of the program are multi-fold. Our Techsplorers (program participants) are introduced to careers they may never have considered. In addition to the targeted goals, young women benefit as their skills are enhanced in the areas of communication, technology, leadership, and teamwork. Teachers also indicate that students increased levels of self-confidence, self-esteem and cultural awareness – which are all vital skills to every occupation. Techsploration positively affects the entire community as it encourages involvement among students, teachers, partners, role models, government and industry.
Statistics show that women are still vastly underrepresented in these fields. This means that they’re missing out on exciting career opportunities and employers are deprived of a vast pool of potential employees.
Techsploration’s key activities are scheduled between October and May each year, although planning and follow-up are ongoing. Some of the key events are:
Phase 1 – Techsploration Goes to Work (December – March)
Each school team, which includes students in Grade 9 and 1-2 teachers, is assigned a female role model from a science, engineering, trade, or technology occupation. The young women meet with their assigned role model, and participate in a worksite tour and hands-on activities related to their role model’s career. During this event, students begin the research that forms the basis of a presentation they will make at both Techsploration Goes to School and the Techsplorer Event later in the spring.
Phase 2 – Techsploration Goes To School (March – April)
Each school team shares their experiences and research with students at their school in the form of a unique presentation. Their school team role model, along with guest role models, set up stations with props, tools of their trade, and information about their careers. Small groups of students rotate through the stations to ask questions and participate in hands-on activities.
Young women and men, teachers, and staff all benefit from the opportunity to meet women working in today’s in-demand careers.
Phase 3 – Techsplorer Events (April & May)
During the two-day Techsplorer Event, girls from across the province gather with their teachers, and role models, and invited guests to participate in exciting, interactive presentations and workshops. This event reinforces and expands upon the information provided in the Techsploration team presentations and gives each young woman the chance to meet even more role models.
All of the girls are actively involved in the team presentations. Along with providing information on their assigned career, the students introduce their role model, who responds to questions from the floor.
For those in the audience, it is an opportunity to witness the power of the program first-hand! Each year we hear about the creativity and confidence shown by these young women. Important skills that can take decades to acquire are being honed in a supportive and encouraging environment.
Phase 4 – Techsplorer Alumnae Conference (October)
This annual one-day event is for Techsploration alumnae in grades 10, 11 and 12. The conference provides alumnae and guest students the opportunity to meet more role models working in exciting and challenging science, engineering, trades, and technology careers and participate in hands-on workshops. Attending this conference is an invaluable way for young women and non-binary youth to learn about in-demand careers that may not otherwise occur to them: machinists, video game designers, research scientists, welders, survey technicians, aircraft mechanics, and forensic scientists, to name just a few.
These Techsploration “graduates” are also encouraged to stay actively involved in the program by participating in the annual Techsploration launch, assisting in selecting the new school team, acting as a “big sister” to current participants and volunteering at the Techsplorer Event. Many of our alumnae have gone on to emcee events, share their experiences, and become role models themselves.
In addition to our in-person programming, check out our online video series “Power in Possibilities” and “Women in Action”. If you’re a Techsploration Alumna, be sure to participate in our Online Alumnae Mentorship Program as well.