Gift the spark that helps young scientific minds shine
From November 27 to December 6, during its 10th annual Week of the White Rose event, Polytechnique Montréal will be celebrating a decade of progress in promoting emerging women engineers. During the week, it invites members of the public to make a symbolic, inclusive gesture by giving the gift of virtual white roses to help the next generation of women engineers. [...]
The campaign, which takes its name from the white roses that have become emblematic of events in remembrance of the tragedy of December 6, 1989, encourages the blossoming of scientific talent and openness to sciences, technology and engineering among young girls, so as to further stimulate their interest in these disciplines.
All funds raised during this commemorative week will go to support Folie Technique, Polytechnique Montréal’s science camp. Specifically, they will enable young girls from disadvantaged backgrounds to attend science discovery activities and explore their passion for this field with confidence and optimism.
TEN YEARS OF WHITE ROSES, TEN YEARS OF PROGRESS
Polytechnique Montréal is marking this 10th anniversary of the campaign by highlighting how far we have come in recent years in developing the next generation of women engineers. In 2020, Polytechnique reached a milestone when it awarded more than 30% of its bachelor’s degrees to women, an achievement unmatched by Québec’s other engineering faculties and schools.
Maud Cohen, Polytechnique’s President, is delighted by this progress and emphasizes how important it is to keep on encouraging girls to take their place in engineering, which remains a male-dominated field: “Between 2010 and today the number of our women graduates has more than doubled, which clearly shows that more and more young women are embracing engineering as a career choice,” she says. “Fostering their interest in science from childhood is fundamental to building on this impressive momentum. From the climate crisis to healthcare, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence, engineering is central to the major challenges of society, and the contributions of women are key to meeting them.”
ONE VIRTUAL WHITE ROSE, MULTIPLE PATHS TO A CAREER IN SCIENCE
Every white rose will go to support the work of Folie Technique, which is committed to initiating children aged 7 to 17 to the world of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, with special emphasis on outreach to young girls.
“The funds we raise from the white rose campaign are essential to fulfilling our mission,” explains Julie Doucet Lamoureux, Executive Director, Folie Technique. “This past summer, more than 37% of our science campers were girls. Besides making it possible for us to welcome more and more of them every year, the public’s generosity gives us a unique opportunity to continually enhance the activities we offer them.”
Over the past 10 years, more than $225,000 in funds received during Week of the White Rose appeals have helped support Folie Technique’s mission. Nearly 300 young girls have received bursaries enabling them to attend a summer camp, more than 800 science workshops have been given in schools, and over 12,500 young people have been reached via all activities combined.
For many attendees, accessing Folie Technique activities has had a transformative and profound impact, as this 14-year-old girl explains: “The White Rose bursary allowed me to attend the Folie Technique camp, where I learned so many exciting new things. It truly inspired me to consider enrolling at Polytechnique. I’m hoping to attend the camp again next year!”
With this 10th Week of the White Rose, Polytechnique Montréal hopes to help evolve perceptions and eliminate the stereotypical idea that “science is for boys.” With the financial support of the public, more and more young girls will be able to nurture their passion.
TO GIVE THE GIFT OF ROSES
Members of the public are invited to purchase one or more virtual white roses by visiting https://roseblanche.org/en.
- $20 pays for transportation for one girl to attend science day camp for one week;
- $65 pays for lunches for one girl during a week-long camp;
- $150 pays for two student facilitators from Polytechnique to lead an in-class science workshop at a school in a disadvantaged community;
- $350 pays for a bursary allowing a young girl to attend a week-long summer science day camp.
Awarding of the Order of the White Rose Scholarship
On December 4 at 11 a.m., Polytechnique Montréal will host the 9th Order of the White Rose ceremony. On this occasion, a $50,000 scholarship will be awarded to a Canadian female engineering student wishing to pursue graduate studies in Canada or abroad.
Photo exhibit at Polytechnique
From November 29 to December 8, in the tunnel linking the Polytechnique main building to the Lassonde Buildings, the Association étudiante de Polytechnique and PolyPhoto present an exhibit honouring the 14 women who lost their lives on December 6, 1989. Fourteen women members of the Polytechnique community, both employees and students, agreed to pose in tribute to the memory of the deceased. The inspiration for the exhibit was the desire for people to know more about these 14 exceptional women. The portraits were taken on a Pentax 67 II film camera with a 105 mm lens, using Ilford Delta 100 film, which is how PolyPhoto would have photographed these 14 women in 1989.
Laying of rose wreaths at the Polytechnique commemorative plaque
December 6 at 8:30 a.m., wreaths of white roses will be laid in front of the commemorative plaque by representatives of Polytechnique, its student associations, faculty and staff. Throughout the day, people who wish to gather for a moment of contemplation are invited to do so at the plaque, which is located outside on the south-west wall of Polytechnique’s main building.
Light beams on Mount Royal
On December 6 at 5:10 p.m., the time the first shots were fired, 14 beams of light will illuminate the sky above Montréal. The beams will be lit one at a time on the Belvédère Kondiaronk lookout, at a few seconds’ interval as the names of the 14 victims are read out. Each year, the City of Montréal and Polytechnique’s Comité Mémoire reactivate this installation created by Moment Factory that keeps alive the memory of the young women who died. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org .
To learn more about the commemorative activities organized by Polytechnique Montréal, visit https://www.polymtl.ca/december6
ABOUT POLYTECHNIQUE MONTRÉAL
Established in 1873, Polytechnique Montréal is one of Canada’s largest engineering education and research universities, and is located on the Université de Montréal campus – North America’s largest Francophone university campus. With over 60,000 graduates and over 120 academic programs, Polytechnique has trained 22% of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec (OIQ)’s current membership. It offers some 120 training programs. Polytechnique Montréal is also distinguished by its more than 300 talented professors and 10,000 students, Its overall annual budget is $300 million, including $100 million reserved exclusively for research.
ABOUT FOLIE TECHNIQUE
Folie Technique is a non-profit organization created in 1991 by engineering students from Polytechnique Montréal. It offers young people the opportunity to explore the world of science, math, engineering and technology through creative, interactive and accessible activities. Each year, Folie Technique activities reach more than 20,000 young people aged 7 to 17.
- Julie Doucet-Lamoureux, Executive Director, Folie Technique
- Maud Cohen, President and CEO, Polytechnique Montréal
- Polytechnique Montréal students
Week of the White Rose video
Week of the White Rose website
Folie Technique website
Order of the White Rose website
Women and Engineering website
December 6 web page
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