I’m Janelle Fournier, and my career revolves around a deep passion for education and promoting gender diversity in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields. Currently, I serve as the Manager of Education at Actua, a position I’ve held since January 2022. My primary focus at Actua is working with educators to bring STEM to all classrooms across Canada. I’m also proud to announce that I am now the principal of Actua’s innovative school, Actua Academy.
My academic journey is marked by my pursuit of a PhD (All But Dissertation) in the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa. My research centers on the integration of engineering principles, particularly the engineering design process, into high school curricula. I firmly believe that exposing students to engineering concepts in the classroom provides a unique opportunity to explore potential career paths and break down gender-related barriers in STEM.
In Canada, it’s a stark reality that only 14% of engineers are women, which underscores the importance of my advocacy efforts. I am a passionate advocate for gender diversity in STEM fields. Societal factors, including gendered socialization, have limited students’ exposure to engineering and its potential as a career path. I firmly believe that the classroom is the ideal place to change this narrative. By introducing engineering activities and concepts early on, we can inspire young minds to consider engineering as a viable and rewarding profession.
Before my role at Actua, I spent nine years as an educator in a French language high school in Ontario. During this time, I had the privilege of teaching a variety of courses, including biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. My extensive teaching experience has provided me with valuable insights into effective pedagogy and the unique needs of students in diverse educational settings.
All in all, I strive to create a more inclusive and innovative future for STEM in Canada and beyond. To learn more about me and my various projects, please explore the site.
Thanks for stopping by!
*Source: Engineers Canada. (2020). 2020 National Membership Information.