Who are we?

CAGIS is led by a small team of staff and hundreds of dedicated volunteers across the country.

Dr. Larissa Vingilis-Jaremko

Founder & President

Catherine McKenzie

Project Coordinator

Alexandra Lopes

Communications Coordinator

Natalia Mangos

Virtual Outreach Coordinator and STEM Communicator

Our Story


The Canadian Association for Girls in Science (CAGIS) was founded in 1992 by Larissa Vingilis-Jaremko when she was 9-years-old because she noticed that girls in her class hated science; they thought that they were not smart enough or the right fit for science, technology, trades, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) fields. They also had stereotypes of scientists as old men with messy white hair and lab coats. Larissa had a very different view of the sciences, largely from her parents, a research scientist and an engineer, who regularly used STEM to explore, experiment, and answer her questions. She wanted to share her positive experiences and role models with her friends, and started by inviting her parents’ colleagues into her classroom to do activities. She soon realized that her female friends at other schools had similar stereotypes so she decided to start a STEM club for girls where they could visit women and men in STEM fields to do fun experiments and activities.

CAGIS started with a single chapter and a group of 20 girls in London, Ontario. Now, CAGIS has chapters across the country, a nation-wide virtual program, and has been recognised for its excellence in STEM promotion.

Success Stories

Our methods work! When we surveyed CAGIS Alumni, we found that 94% of survey respondents were studying or working in a STEM (science, technology, trades, engineering, or mathematics) field. In fact, in 2022, 100% of our graduating Teen Ambassadors went on to pursue a post-secondary degree in STEM.

From award-winning biologists to animation students, CAGIS has alumni in all areas of STEM and at all stages of their careers. Here, they talk about their experiences at CAGIS and how they shaped their STEM journeys.