Sherwood Park, AB. — Neah Chaboyer, a Grade 9 student at Ardrossan Junior Senior High, just returned from an all-expenses-paid trip to the University of Waterloo, where she took part in a nationally acclaimed, weeklong computer science workshop. “It was such a great experience,” says Chaboyer. “I’ve never had the opportunity to investigate computer science as a career path before. So, it was great to learn about the subject and see what kinds of careers are available to me.”

Chaboyer was one of 36 students from across Canada chosen to participate in the Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing’s (CEMC) Workshop in Computer Science for Young Women. The workshop’s goal is to encourage more young women to explore the computer sciences, a predominately male sector. Selected from among 500 applicants, Chaboyer stood out because of her natural ability to collaborate and communicate complex ideas with other students. “She’s thoughtful, hardworking and a natural leader in class,” says Rebecca Gustafson, Chaboyer’s math teacher at Ardrossan Junior Senior High. “At the school, we’re always looking for opportunities to enhance learning. The workshop was a way to do that. It was great for her and gave her a chance to see what else is out there, and what kinds of possibilities her future might hold.”

Throughout the week, students were introduced to all-things computer science. Chaboyer took part in a number of sessions including programming, digital privacy and security, digital hardware, software engineering and more. “Math and science have always been my favourite subjects,” says Chaboyer. “At the workshop, I really wanted to learn more about computers. I think what surprised me the most was how many specialties and different paths you can take in computer science—way more than I had ever thought about before.”

With three more years of senior high ahead of her, Chaboyer doesn’t have to make any decisions about her future just yet. That said, the seed of possibility was planted, and the world seems just a little bit wider than it did before.

Ardrossan Junior Senior High offers a dual-track English and French immersion program serving approximately 800 students in grades 7 to 12. The school is one of 43 schools within Elk Island Public Schools. More information is available at www.ardrossan.ca.

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For more information contact:
MJ Nam, Principal, Ardrossan Junior Senior High, EIPS 780-922-2228
Laura McNabb, Director, Communication Services, EIPS 780-417-8204 cell 780-405-4902