Operation Minerva

Operation Minerva

Connecting Gr 8 and 9 girls to women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)

Program Details


One-Day Virtual Professional Development Conference for Grade 8-9 individuals who identify as female or non-binary


April 26, 2021

9:30am - 4:00pm.


Zoom (links will be sent after registration)


$10 per student

Science needs more women!

Thank Hedy Lamarr for Wi-Fi, Evelyn Boyd Granville for successful space missions, Barbara McClintock for genetic transposition, Ruby Hirose for vaccines against polio, Nora Stanton Blatch Barney for being the first female civil engineer. Five fearless women in science who changed the world through their scientific discoveries! There are many other strong female pioneers who have shaped the future of science, but even still, science needs more women.

Operation Minerva is a one-day virtual conference that connects Grade 8 and 9 girls to professional female or non-binary role models in Alberta working in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) for a fully packed mentorship day.

How it works

Operation Minerva is an interactive opportunity to connect with real professionals. Groups of students will be randomly paired to 5 mentors where they'll experience a live and interactive glimpse into science professions. Ask questions and be curious! Access to a desired session cannot be guaranteed, however all students will receive full recordings of each session.

Operation Minerva is open to all girls and students who identify as female or non-binary in grades 8 and 9.

**Operation Minerva strives to reach those that would benefit from the program most. If payment for this event is a barrier, please email [email protected] for assistance.


403.817.6800 or [email protected]

Operation Minerva is a live conference happening outside of school hours with minimal teacher supervision. Chats will be monitored and managed by Spark staff, however, parent or guardian supervision is highly encouraged to ensure a safe, fun, and open environment for all students.

Registration Deadline: April 22, 2021

Register Now

What's Included

- Full interactive mentorship day over Zoom

- Access to 5 live sessions

- Recordings of all 10 sessions

- Introductions to professional women working in Alberta STEM fields

- Insights on professional work from women in STEM

- Network of professionals and students

  • Session Descriptions
    • AESO

      The Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) manages and operates the provincial power grid. We work with industry partners to keep electricity flowing throughout the province. Our System Controllers balance supply and demand 24/7, 365 days a year, to ensure four million Albertans have power when they need it. Hear from an Engineer on our Compliance Monitoring team, a Senior Market Analytics Analyst on our Market Analytics team, as well as a Forecast Analyst on out Forecasting & Market Simulation team to get some further insight about the inspiring work we get to do!

    • Enbridge
    • Enmax

      Join the session with ENMAX to check interesting works done by women in different departments to keep the lights on in your community. And also take the opportunity to talk to them in Q&A session.

    • Urban Systems

      Urban Systems is a professional consulting firm with engineering, legal survey, environmental, GIS, landscape and planning disciplines. We're on a mission to transform communities everywhere into vibrant places where people want to live today, tomorrow and forever. Our presenters guiding you through some community transformations and education journeys are Jenna Majkut, P.Eng., Malaya Coppola, E.I.T., Claire Gillis, E.I.T and Anneli Zalazar, E.I.T.

    • Benevity

      Join women from Benevity as they talk about how they followed their own paths to get where they are today. From opportunities to roadblocks, we’ll explore their individual journeys and the experiences that made them who they are today. We’ll be speaking with women in STEM-related roles like Software Development and Information Security, while also hearing the journey of Kelly Schmidt, our CFO-turned-CEO.

    • CNOOC

      We are a global energy company with a vision of delivering safe, sustainable energy for all. Learn how our engineers, geoscientists and operations technicians work together and apply STEM principles to explore for and produce one of Canada’s most important resources!

    • Stephenson Cardiac Imaging Centre Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta
    • SNOLAB
    • Institute for Research on Exoplanets

      If you're curious and intrigued by nature and the mysteries of the Universe, being an astrophysicist could be your dream job! As an astrophysicist, I get to work with incredible people in the space industry, travel to amazing locales around the world and study the cosmos using cutting-edge instruments and telescopes. Come discover this fascinating profession with me!

    • Calgary Zoo

      The Calgary Zoo’s Centre for Conservation Research is a team of scientists taking action for wildlife in Canada and around the world. Join us to learn what it’s like being a conservation biologist! We’ll share our thoughts on the zoo’s conservation programs, what a day looks like for an Ecologist or Field Technician, our skillsets and career paths and lots of cool stories.

    • Alberta Community Bat Program

      Our mission is to introduce people to Alberta's bats! Educating communities about the value of bats and the diversity of species is the key to conserving and protecting these amazing little animals. We involve the public directly by encouraging everyone to participate in our citizen science project to count and report the number of bats they find flying out of local roosts (including natural roosts and roosts in bat houses). The data from this project will be used to assess bat populations in Alberta! Susan Holroyd and Erin Low are regional coordinators and bat biologists that work with the program. We will be talking about the Alberta Community Bat Program and Alberta's bats. We can answer questions about how we got interested in bats and how to "become a bat biologist". We will tell you a bit about the field work you can do with bats. And we will introduce you to "Batsby" a Hoary Bat in our care who can no longer be released because of a wing injury!

Meet Your Mentors!

  • AESO, Nicole Poulin: Engineer, Compliance Monitoring Reliability Standards, Shahin Moradi: Senior Market Analytics, Market Analytics, & Soheila Karimi: Forecast Analyst, Forecasting, & Market Simulation
  • Alberta Community Bat Program, Susan Holroyd: Calgary Regional Coordinator, & Erin Low: Edmonton Regional Coordinator
  • Benevity, Stephanie Maygard: Team Lead, Site Reliability Engineering
  • Calgary Zoo, Jill Hockaday: Conservation Research Specialist
  • CNOOC, Diane Kukulski: Development and Innovation (Engineer)
  • Enmax, Najmus Saltanat: Asset Capital Engineer, Chelsey Barnett: Safety Specialist, Jamie Tsui: Project Manager, Jennifer Lefevre: Business Integration Manager, Kathy Puhan: Project Manager, & Nicole Morter: Grid Innovation Senior Engineer
  • Stephenson Cardiac Imaging Centre Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta, Jacqueline Flewitt: Research Collaborations Coordinator
  • Urban Systems, Jenna Majkut: Project Engineer
  • Institute for Research, Nathalie Ouellette: Astrophysicist
  • SNOLAB, Ingrida Semenec & Erica Caden: Particle Physicists

Students in grade 8 and 9 are the most vulnerable in their decision-making when planning for high school and post-secondary educational pathways. Operation Minerva's mission is simple – to inspire young girls to pursue STEM careers and foster network-building among youth to encourage a positive environment supporting achievement in science and technology.

Registration Deadline: April 22, 2021

Register Now

Science needs more women!

Grade 8-9 individuals who identify as female can register today to connect with leading women in science!

Register Now