Island scientist gives high school students 'inspiring' career advice

A group of scientists are in Island high schools this week hoping to show students that a career in science isn't limited to lab work.

'It's just nice to know that even if you're from a small town you can do what you want'

Ellen Crane, a former student of Montague Regional High School, talks to current students about her career path as a scientist. (Jessica Doria-Brown/CBC)

A former Montague Regional High graduate popped by to see students on Friday to show that a career in science isn't limited to lab work. 

Ellen Crane told students on Friday that her experience growing up on a farm in rural P.E.I. helped her build a dream career in science. 

She spoke to the students as part of a week-long series organized by Wise Atlantic where scientists visit various schools,  aiming to inspire girls to learn about careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

Crane grew up on a beef farm in Lorne Valley, P.E.I., and now, after years studying science in university and college, she's working with the Maritime Beef Council and came to speak to the students about her career path.

"I was encouraged, go be a doctor, go be a nurse, a teacher, go be something else, get off the farm," she said. 

Crane grew up on a beef farm in Lorne Valley, P.E.I., and now works as a scientist with the Maritime Beef Council. (Jessica Doria-Brown/CBC)

"But now I'm getting a chance to come back and helping kids that are part of the next generation as our future farmers and they are going to have a chance to make a living at doing this — and that's pretty exciting."

Her message for students on Friday was that a career in science can be anything you make it.

'I think it was really inspiring'

Students in the biology class say her story helped them understand that science is an open-ended career path.

"I think it was really inspiring because she's just from a small kinda town, like around here," said Carley Matheson.

"It's just nice to know that even if you're from a small town you can do what you want and you can get the kind of job that you want."

Grade 10 student Carley Matheson says she found the presentation 'inspiring.' (Jessica Doria-Brown/CBC)

Joel MacEachern, another student at the school, said the presentation is helpful for people who were struggling with what they may want to do later in life.

He said he grew up with a farming background and the presentation opened his eyes to future opportunities. 

"You can really get a career anywhere and as long as you work for it you can get your foot in the door."