Why CAGIS? – Canadian Association for Girls In Science (CAGIS)
Girl learning about robotics by doing a fun, hands-on experiment


We are surrounded by science, technology, trades, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in our current knowledge-based society. Having literacy in STEM is becoming increasingly important to function, from decoding fact from fiction in the media to having the skills to be competitive on the job market.

Children are natural scientists; they instinctively explore the world and regularly ask questions like “Why?” and “How?”. They also do experiments through play to learn how the world works, including taking things apart, dropping things, building things, mixing things, and more. Kids’ natural way of playing is a form science and experimentation.

Sometimes kids become turned off STEM as they get older because of pressures in school and/or stereotypes they encounter in society. Other kids love STEM but aren’t able to experience as much as they would like in their classrooms. These challenges can affect girls, nonbinary and gender nonconforming youth more than boys (see Research page to learn more).

CAGIS takes STEM out of the classroom and facilitates interest with fields trips and fun, hands-on activities.

  • Fun & hands-on: CAGIS events are fun! The hands-on activities associate fun with STEM, provide a sense of self efficacy, and lead to deep learning (without even realizing it).
  • Field trips: CAGIS in-person events often occur at the workplaces of STEM experts giving girls and gender nonconforming youth a “behind-the-scenes” view of STEM in action. Events occur in the lab, in a forest, in an operating room, and more, providing new experiences and a sense of belongingness in these spaces.
  • Supportive small groups: CAGIS events occur in supportive, small group environments with a high volunteer-to-child ratio.
  • Role models: CAGIS provides role models of STEM students and experts, giving a more realistic and non-stereotyped picture of who STEM experts are and what they do.
  • Diversity of topics: STEM is everywhere! CAGIS chapters explore STEM topics with bridge building, robotics, microscopes, and more. But we also explore how STEM is present everywhere with events like the chemistry of baking cookies, the physics of figure skating, and more.