When Roland Michener Secondary School announced that one of its students was accepted to the 2021 Women in Scholarship Engineering Science and Technology (WISEST) program it seemed very familiar. This is because this is the second year in a row that a Michener student has been accepted into this competitive program.
Saige Burnett, Grade 11, will be working as a WISEST intern over the summer.
WISEST has only 37 positions and over 500 young women applied, says a Michener post congratulating Burnett.
“I was looking for an experience,” Burnett says. “I wanted to do something new this summer. I liked that it would benefit me going forward.”
Burnett was born and raised in Slave Lake. Most summers, she works and camps a bit with her family.
Like Haley Nicholl, last year, Burnett will be working remotely. This will include doing research, writing a final report, and taking part in special events and campus tours.
“I knew I wanted to go into science,” Burnett says. Her default was to become a doctor, but recently she’s been looking into other STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math). This research led her to say “I’m going to apply and explore the field a bit more.”
WISEST was “something I could put a little effort into, but also have a great time doing,” she says.
“I really like biology, because it’s very interesting,” Burnett says. “But I also like chemistry, because it’s something I’m very good at.”
Asked about potential STEM careers she says, any kind of engineer, marine biologist, zoologist, mathematician, physicist, forensics, toxicology or immunology.
At the moment, all of these and more are options, she says. “I’m hoping that WISEST will solidify” a choice.
WISEST is through the University of Alberta. It is a paid internship for high school girls and other underrepresented groups in science, engineering and technology.
“Anyone who has any interest in STEM or any science should definitely apply in the future,” says Burnett.