About The Event

STEMinism is a full-day conference which explores the different topics within STEM and the reasons for underrepresentation in the field. In particular, we aim to learn how we, as teenagers, can take action to enact positive change.

Throughout the day, students will choose to go through activity-based workshops, seminars, and discussions with panelists. The conference is for high-school students and teachers of the GTA, whether female, male, or other. This year, the event will be held at the University of Toronto, in the MacLeod Auditorium and University College, from 9am – 3pm this February 21st.

Sign ups can be found here. Schools may bring up to 40 attendees. Admissions will be $15.00, covering your lunch and with one third of the proceeds going towards the Canada Learning Code organization.

Details of locations and the schedule for workshops can be found organized here.


8:45 – 9:15 – Sign In/Registration/Schools Arrive

9:15 – 10:00 – Welcome & Opening Speaker: Kathyrn Hume @ MacLeod Auditorium

(10-10:10 – Transition)

10:10 – 10:50 – Morning workshop A

(10:50- 11 – Transition)

11 – 11:40 – Morning workshop B

11:40 – 12:20 – Lunch

12:20 – 1 – Afternoon workshop A

(1-1:10 – Transition)

1:10 – 1:50 – Afternoon workshop B

(1:50-2 – Transition)

2:00 – 3:00 – Closing Speaker: Simrat Sodhi @ MacLeod Auditorium


Things you can do with a Quantum Device that you cannot do in the Classical World?

Quantum mechanics is the ultimate law of nature and when we engineer devices to function uniquely quantum mechanically then we reach the highest efficiency allowed by nature. For many interesting tasks this quantum efficiency greatly exceeds that of classical devices. Today we are developing quantum sensors with applications in medicine, navigation and searches for dark energy. I will describe some of the ways that quantum devices allow us to outperform any possible classical device.

Presenter: Professor David Cory


TransPod – The Fifth Mode of Transportation

TransPod is building solutions to solve mankind’s biggest upcoming challenge. The way people move is not sustainable. As the population is demanding faster deliveries and faster transport, it is critical to develop new transportation systems capable of moving people fast and clean. TransPod’s vision for connected mobility links together all modes of transportation for a fluid and green future.

Presenter: Matthew Vuk


Environmental, Water Resource & Costal Engineering Workshop

This workshop will be focused on introducing participants to the fields of environmental, water resource and coastal engineering. We will discuss issues facing the world, such as climate change, that require the services of engineers within these disciplines, and what innovative solutions are currently being used to combat them. As a water resource engineering graduate myself, I will guide participants through my own career path to date, and the opportunities available to those who choose to pursue a career as an environmental, water resource or coastal engineer. The workshop will also include a small group activity to expose participants to possible projects they may encounter within these fields. Time permitting, there will be a brief discussion about education requirements to pursue this career path.

Presenter: Samantha Mehltretter


Panel: Women in STEM

On this panel, there is a wide variety of women who will talk to us about their struggles and accomplishments about being a female in the STEM field.


Sara Maltese

Sara Maltese is a 4th year student at the University of Toronto, completing a Bachelor of Applied Science in Civil Engineering with a focus on Transportation Engineering and with a minor in Engineering Business.She has conducted research on the impacts of autonomous vehicle implementation on vehicular travel demand in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. She is also a Consultant at LeighFisher Canada Inc.’s Toronto office. She has supported the delivery of advisory services on infrastructure projects in the markets of highways, rail and transit, airports, wastewater, and social infrastructure. She has been involved with the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) University of Toronto Chapter since 2013, active on the initiatives of High School Outreach, Business Relations, and the WISE National Conference.

Victoria Cheng

Victoria is a third year in Engineering Science at UofT, where she specializes in Robotics and minors in Business. She is currently the VP Marketing for the WISE U of T Chapter, and also used to be involved in student politics, the solar car club, and DECA. Victoria really passionate about accessibility in technology, as well as design and art. She worked at Microsoft this past summer on their Azure Cloud team, and also used to work at a prosthesis lab at Bloorview Research. Outside of school and work, she really loves food and aviation.

Lina Elfaki

Lina Elfaki is a master’s student at the University of Toronto’s (UofT) Institute of Medical Science. She is currently exploring the use of targeted gene therapy for aortic aneurysms at St. Michael’s Hospital. She recently graduated with an honours Bachelor of Science from UofT where she majored in Physiology and Health and Disease. She is also the Vice President of Outreach for the Women in Science and Engineering, UofT chapter, an organization that aims to encourage young women to pursue STEM careers. Recently, she led the 1st Empower YOUth Conference that connected almost 100 high school students from Toronto with Women in STEM at various points in their career. With her passion for mentorship and hope for universal education, she is also involved with several non-profit organizations to guide youth in the GTA.


Artmaking with Scratch

Traditionally, animation involves drawing several pictures, sometimes thousands, then playing them in sequence to create the illusion of movement. Today, we have digital tools that help us create animations more easily by letting us control characters, backgrounds, and even sounds with code. This workshop offers the opportunity to express creativity and learn about the different elements of building a story through animation, as well as basic design principles. Using Scratch, a beginner level programming environment, you will create interactive stories through animation. They will also be introduced to Scratch’s amazing online community, where they will have the opportunity to upload their projects for others to enjoy!

Presenter: Ariane Deschenes Foucher


Robotics Workshop

In this workshop Ann will share her firsthand her experience as a young entrepreneur and leader in the tech community. She will speak about her work, and in doing so demonstrate the innovative applications of technological integration and the value in bridging art and creativity with tech. She will also explore what she has learnt from creating a product for children and give insight on how we get more young people interested in technology. Her strong creativity combined with her programming skills makes her perspective interesting and unique.

Presenter: Ann Poochareon


Deliberate Dreaming

We take time and care to design products, houses and organizations using proven design processes to unlock new insights and provide a delightful product. So why not design our lives using the same level of rigor? In this workshop, we will leverage proven design tools and some help from the field of positive psychology to design lives that excite and delight us. We will then turn to “minimum viable product” thinking to prioritize the changes that we want to make today to put us on the path to reaching our full potential. The workshop will be highly interactive so come ready to work with a notebook and a pen!

Presenter: Megan Anderson


My STEM Journey: Making the Right Choices

I was always aiming for a career in science and more specifically in academic research. I pictured myself as this passionate and crazy scientist living in a lab. Life being full of surprises and unknowns, I have enjoyed the opportunities bringing me to the vaccine industry, and the possibilities to make a difference in Public Health, not exactly in a lab, but in the private pharmaceutical sector. How do we know we are making the right choices? What does success look like for each of us?

Presenter: Lydia Serina


Panel: STEM Post-Secondary/Career Options

The women on this panel will talk about their experiences and careers in STEM fields after secondary school.


Samantha Mehltretter

Sam was supposed to go into the Life Science program at Queen’s, but wasn’t sure that was what she wanted to do. She ended up taking a year off, working and engaging in volunteer trips — including Mexico to collect data on coral populations, and Kenya to do service for the community. The next year, she went back to Queen’s for Engineering, planning to follow Bio-Chemical Engineering. However, Sam didn’t enjoy her classes and transferred to the University of Guelph for Water Resource Engineering. After graduation, Sam worked for W.F. Baird & Associates Coastal Engineers Ltd.. Two of her projects there included: (1) Mitigating flooding in Barbados, while considering the impacts of climate change, and (2) analyzing the sediment transport and hydrodynamics of a river diversion off of the Mississippi River in Louisiana. Sam has recently left Baird and has started a Masters of Applied Science (a research based engineering masters) back at the University of Guelph. Her research focus, however, is a little different as it will be on Engineering Pedagogy (how to improve how we teach engineering). She is very interested in how students learn and are motivated, and how we can better change the engineering programs to ensure students are graduating with the necessary knowledge and skills to help them succeed in the workplace.

Simrat Sodhi

Simrat Sodhi is a Medical Science Liaison in Bayer’s Ophthalmology Division. As an MSL, she reviews, disseminates and presents evidence-based clinical data to ophthalmologists and also supports their clinical research. She holds an Honors B.Sc. in Genetics from Western University and a M.Sc. in Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University. During her Masters, she also performed research, including: contrast sensitivity function in glaucoma, multimodal imaging and natural history progression of retinal dystrophies, and transplantation of stem cell derived retinal photoreceptors. Her interest in technology and STEM began in high school when she joined Rick Hansen Secondary School’s FIRST Robotics Team, Team 1241. From that moment on, she was involved in almost every facet of the team. From mechanical and electrical to entrepreneurship and community outreach. She then went on to mentor other students and now continues to be involved in FIRST by volunteering as a Judge.

Amy Freeman

Amy is in her third year at the University of Toronto, majoring in Neuroscience and Molecular Genetics. Her research experience is mainly in the field of Neuroscience. For her most recent project, she sent nematodes to the International Space Station to investigate muscle atrophy in microgravity. Amy is also the Vice President of Professional Development for UofT’s Women in Science and Engineering Chapter, which aims to inspire and empower women in the STEM fields. She is also the Vice President of Academic Affairs for the Neuroscience Association for Undergraduate Students, which is the student union that represents UofT Neuroscience students. Amy is interested in a career in medicine, particularly in the fields of neurology or internal medicine.

Wazaira Khan

Wazaira Khan is a 4th year undergraduate student at the University of Toronto. She completed the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program in high school, and is now pursuing a double major in Neuroscience and Immunology and a minor in Physiology. While balancing her role as a full-time student, Wazaira enjoys being involved in the university community as a Residence Don, Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Executive, and Submissions Editor for the Interneuron. Wazaira also has experience in various research settings ranging from clinical neurosciences and anesthesiology to neuro-oncology and molecular immunology. She is a recipient of various scholarships and summer studentships. With a keen interest in medicine and research, Wazaira hopes to one day make her mark in the scientific community. Having been mentored throughout her academic career, she believes in the value of empowering and mentoring young students interested in a STEM field to dream big and achieve bigger.


Whatever You Believe Is True

Building your path and ultimately how you impact the world are about the collection of experiences you choose. The best paths are not defined by straight lines. The best paths are defined by the multiplying of opportunities through our choices and contributions. This includes everything from academics, to community, to the burgeoning ecosystem in STEM. In our time together, we will discuss some of the questions to ask as you shape your path.

Presenter: Louisa Greco

More details on each workshop can be found here.

About Our Council

This conference has been put together completely by students — our STEMinism 2018 council made up of students from different COSSOT schools. This includes:

  • St. Mildred’s Lightbourn School
  • St. Michael’s College School
  • St. Clement’s School
  • Loretto Abbey Catholic Secondary School
  • Trafalgar Castle School
  • Bishop Strachan School
  • Branksome Hall

The Council has been meeting since the beginning of the 2017 – 2018 school year to organize this event, that we’re able to put together thanks to our sponsors.


Any inquiries? Email us your questions or go to the Register tab to find your school representative’s contact.