MONTRÉAL, Feb. 25, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - To mark the 25th anniversary of the December 6, 1989, tragedy, Polytechnique Montréal last fall launched the Week of the White Rose, an annual fundraiser with the theme "The future blooms in our hands," during which the institution encourages its own community and the general public to donate by buying and giving virtual white roses.
For its inaugural edition, the Week of the White Rose campaign raised $25,000, which will be given to Polytechnique Montréal's Folie Technique science day camp, in order to introduce girls from disadvantaged and multiethnic communities to engineering and science.
"What a lovely story!" Michèle Thibodeau-DeGuire, Chair of the Board of Directors and Principal of Polytechnique Montréal, exclaimed with emotion. "Nearly 400 people bought white roses to tell someone 'I love you.'" Ms. Thibodeau-DeGuire, the first woman to graduate from Polytechnique, in civil engineering, added: "This money will enable little girls to attend Folie Technique and to discover that they have extraordinary scientific talent."
Folie Technique Director Marie-Claude Hamel thanked all those who gave, saying: "Your donations will enable us to provide 50 camp scholarships to young girls, to open an extracurricular science club in a high school, to reach two more classes with the Robot techno project, to take part in local Science Fairs and to offer free in-class science workshops."
Ms. Hamel added: "Girls and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds often lack confidence in their own abilities to succeed with science projects. Folie Technique's activities are designed to promote a positive attitude among girls toward these fields and sufficient self-confidence for them to consider a career in science one day."
And Ms. Thibodeau-DeGuire concluded with: "Because of you, we have been able to transform a sad event into something promising for the future. We are in the process of building ourselves a tomorrow that we will be very proud of. Thank you from the bottom of my heart."
Although in the coming years Week of the White Rose fundraising activities will culminate during the week prior to December 6, white roses can be bought throughout the year at http://roseblanche.org.
In addition to the Week of the White Rose campaign, Polytechnique has created a $30,000 scholarship called the Order of the White Rose. The competition for the first edition of the scholarship was launched earlier this month in all Canadian engineering schools and faculties. The scholarship will be awarded annually by Polytechnique Montréal to a woman student who wishes to pursue her passion for engineering by enrolling in a graduate program (master's or doctoral level) at the institution of her choice, in Canada or elsewhere in the world. The name of the first Order of the White Rose scholarship winner will be announced in December 2015.
These initiatives will never change the past, but they celebrate the importance of developing the inspiring young talents of today and tomorrow. The engineering profession, and society as a whole, need all the talents of women and men who can contribute.
About Polytechnique Montréal
Founded in 1873, Polytechnique Montréal is one of Canada's leading engineering teaching and research institutions. It is the largest engineering university in Québec for the size of its graduate student body and the scope of its research activities. With over 43,000 graduates, Polytechnique Montréal has educated nearly one-quarter of the current members of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec. Polytechnique provides training in 15 engineering specialties, and has 265 professors and more than 8,000 students. It has an annual operating budget of over $200 million, including an $80-million research budget.
About Folie Technique
Folie Technique is a non-profit organization established in 1991 at the initiative of engineering students at Polytechnique Montréal. Its mission is to give young people the opportunity to explore the worlds of science, mathematics, engineering and technology, through creative, interactive and accessible activities. More than 20,000 young people aged 7 to 17 take part in Folie Technique's activities every year.
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SOURCE Polytechnique Montréal
Image with caption: "February 2015 - Presentation of a cheque for $25,000 to Folie Technique science camp following the Polytechnique Montréal Week of the White Rose. Michèle Thibodeau DeGuire, Chair of the Board of Directors and Principal of Polytechnique Montréal, and Marie-Claude Hamel, Director of Folie Technique, accompanied by students from École Sainte-Claire who are taking part in Folie Technique’s Complètement robot Techno activity. (CNW Group/Polytechnique Montréal)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150225_C7557_PHOTO_EN_12572.jpg