Durham College connects girls to careers in science, technology and trades at annual conference

Oshawa, Ont. – On October 25 and 26, girls from regional school boards participated in the Expand the Possibilities 4.0: Young Women in Science, Technology and Trades Conference (YWSTT) hosted by Durham College (DC). The on-campus event, in its fourth year, featured a series of interactive activities designed to foster a sense of curiosity in science, technology and skilled trades and connect Grade 7 and 8 girls to career opportunities in these fields.

To kick off each day of the conference, students heard from tech start-up founder and CEO Jessica Lui and HGTV home renovation expert Kate Campbell, before participating in several hands-on workshops at DC’s state-of-the-art facilities and learning spaces.  

“Women make up only 23 per cent of Canadians employed in science and technology, according to Statistics Canada,” says Bonnie St. George, associate vice president, Academic Administration. “As a post-secondary institution leading the way in science, technology and skilled trades, DC is uniquely positioned to help students surpass any gender barriers to entry in their chosen profession. We hope the conference helps these girls feel encouraged and inspired to pursue a career in a field they might not have considered.”

Students participated in a number of hands-on workshops including science and technology-themed activities, such as building a robot, investigating pond water under a microscope, and studying candy chromatography, the process of separating colours from candy using science. The event also featured a number of skilled trades learning opportunities, such as plumbing, welding and carpentry.

The event garnered praise from attendees, including Mikayla, a student at Monsignor J. Pereyma Catholic School in Oshawa.

“Kate [Campbell] really inspired me today,” said Mikayla. “After hearing about how she grew up playing baseball around boys who would put her down and how her family supported her choices to do what she wanted to do, I think that would motivate other girls and break the stereotype that girls can’t do sports. Girls can do anything boys can do.”

This event was possible because of the generous support of community partners: Ontario Power Generation, Aecon, Black & McDonald, Elexicon Energy, Enercare, Gerdau, RESCON and Safran Landing Systems.

More information about YWSTT is available online.


About Durham College

With campuses in Oshawa and Whitby, Durham College (DC) offers over 12,500 full-time post-secondary and apprenticeship students access to more than 145 programs, including four honours bachelor degrees and nine apprenticeship programs.

DC enables students to develop career-ready skills for the ever-changing job market by providing an exceptional college education. With a focus on experiential learning, led by expert faculty, through field placements, applied research, co-ops and other hands-on opportunities, DC grads are known for having the skills and knowledge employers need.

At the Oshawa campus, the Centre for Collaborative Education brings together local, Indigenous and global communities, featuring the Durham College Spa, Rotary Global Classroom and interprofessional simulation and anatomy labs. The campus is also home to four of the college’s applied research centres, including the AI Hub, Centre for Cybersecurity Innovation, Mixed Reality Capture Studio and Social Impact Hub. Additionally, the flexible, fully automated, and industrial-grade Integrated Manufacturing Centre serves as a model of the new standards in advanced manufacturing, mechatronics and engineering education.

At DC’s Whitby campus, the new 60,000-square-foot Ontario Power Generation Centre for Skilled Trades and Technology shines a spotlight on industrial skilled trades training, innovation and education, and includes a double-height shop lab, new classrooms and student touchdown spaces, among other features. The campus also features the W. Galen Weston Centre for Food, which is home to the award-winning full-service restaurant, Bistro ’67; retail store, Pantry, featuring food grown and prepared by students; and the Barrett Centre of Innovation in Sustainable Urban Agriculture and its community-inspired urban farm.

Media contact:

Jessica Rivers
Communications Officer
Communications + Marketing
Durham College