NSERC Chair for
Women in Science & Engineering

The CWSE-Prairies seeks to ensure that all Indigenous girls who are interested in the Verna J. Kirkness program are able to participate. It offers Indigenous students the opportunity to spend a week in a university research lab, interacting with scientists, meeting role models, and learning about supports available to them.

Student Experiences

"Even more than encouraging my interest in science, the sense of community among Aboriginal students who love science here is amazing, and it was so nice to feel connected this way despite having never met" Lauren
"[Engineering has] all kinds of people studying a diverse set of sciences. It is so amazing with so many possibilities" Acagas
"I love how I got to experience what being a university student was like and how it was exactly what I needed. I made a whole bunch of new friends and memories" Aleyna
"I became interested in science and engineering in my grade 9 classes, but I have always wondered about how the world revolves around science... It is important to me to be in the Kirkness program because I want to discover my interests to plan out what I want to become later. I also think it is a great chance to become familiar with university" Anita
"I really enjoy participating in science, and it was a great opportunity to get out and experience new things" Arielle
"There's a lot of girls in my school who want/like to do something around science. I think we need to be told what is out there, what we're able to do, because I didn't know many options I had until the girls at UBC told me more" Kayla
"I have always loved to draw and design projects before I built them... I wanted to see what an engineering student actually does to see if this was truly a good match for me" Kierra
"If more people in my community were aware of how much science comes into our everyday lives, I feel like there would be way more jobs and interest... This program is opening my eye to university life. Also it's encouraging me to pursue finishing high school, and get ready for my future" Sara
"I wanted to participate in architecture, and now that I have, I would most likely do this in my future, thanks to the Kirkness program" Vada
"Having good female role models in the science and engineering fields is vital, both in person and learning about the ones you haven't met" Ramona
" The program has given so many Indigenous youth the opportunity to live out their science dreams and makes out goals in life seem very achievable... Being in this program has inspired me to find something that I want to do for the rest of my life. Being around and talking to people that are so passionate about what they do has been such a great experience that I will carry with me for a long time" Ramona
"Verna J. Kirkness is such an inspiring woman. Her program will forever impact us, indigenous children/adolescents to follow our dreams and that if we want something, we can get it. If we want better education for ourselves, we can have it." Kianna

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Project Examples

Learn more about some of the research labs
that have participated in the Kirkness program

Participating Universities