MONTRÉAL, Nov. 26, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - The Week of the White Rose was established by Polytechnique Montréal last year with a mission: to give virtual roses and help promote the "blooming" of promising talent and to stimulate an interest in the sciences that might not otherwise have emerged. By creating a hope-filled annual event on the 25th anniversary of the dark tragedy that forever marked the institution, Polytechnic reaffirmed that it would never forget, but at the same time would always look to the future.
Polytechnique Montréal is once again calling on its entire community and the general public to buy virtual white roses. This fundraiser gives young girls from disadvantaged and multiethnic backgrounds the opportunity to develop a positive attitude toward science and engineering.
A first successful edition: 2,700 students reached!
The first edition of the Week of the White Rose raised some $25,000, helping to provide scholarships to 20 young schoolgirls to attend Polytechnique's Folie Technique science day camp. Another 70 girls participated in the camp's Codemakers activity, in partnership with Google, to learn more about computer programming. In addition, 1,500 elementary school girls participated in classroom science workshops and more than 1,000 female high school students attended interactive mathematics workshops. The Week of the White Rose also enabled the holding of an after-school science club, while seven classes from elementary schools located in disadvantaged areas of Montréal had the opportunity to host a robotics club.
"Two of my 5th-grade students won a scholarship to Folie Technique camp this year thanks to their science fair project," says Julia Laporta, an elementary school teacher in Montréal. "Donations to the Week of the White Rose provided tangible help for them to discover the world of science, realize their potential, develop interests and come into contact with the university milieu. But most of all, they realized that all this is accessible to them, and they learned more about the various engineering sectors and about the qualifications required to become an engineer."
As the Holiday season approaches, companies are also being asked to offer white roses as a corporate gift. Last year, instead of sending a traditional calendar for the new year, one Québec company made a $2,000 donation to the Week of the White Rose. The company's customers welcomed the gesture and the initiative enabled several girls to participate in science activities during the year.
The Week of the White Rose provides an opportunity for a collective moment of reflection, contemplation and remembrance that offers renewed vigour and gives the next generation of engineers the energy and strength they need. While the activities culminate every year during the week leading up to December 6, the Week of the White Rose transactional web site is always live, making it possible to purchase virtual white roses at any time of the year.
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.
Website of the Week of the White Rose: whiteroseweek.org
Clip - Thank you from young Folie Technique campers:
Clip - Testimonial from Julia Laporta, elementary school teacher:
SOURCE Polytechnique Montréal
Video with caption: "Video: Merci, Thank You - Week of The White Rose Polytechnique Montréal". Video available at: https://youtu.be/kvJFXhzROjs