Cybele Negris

Given the amount of time Cybele Negris has spent at Science World over the past decade, you could forgive her for considering it a second home. As the mother of two, Negris has passed countless hours at the centre walking through the Eureka! Gallery or checking out The Science Behind Pixar exhibition.

“We were there on the first night they ever did Camp-In, the sleepover,” she recalls. “My kids were little, but I also lived at Olympic Village for a few years, so we would walk past constantly, or go in and have lots of fun.” That, plus her office is only a block from the geodesic dome. “I look out at it every day. It’s a great view, and it makes me feel good.”

Negris founded the company nearly 20 years ago, and in that time, it’s become the leading registrar for domain extensions in Canada, as well as a leading provider of web hosting, email and web development services. The Hong Kong–born, Burnaby-raised CEO is one of the province’s most sought-after speakers on entrepreneurship and offers counsel to, among others, the government of BC as Vice-Chair of its Small Business Roundtable. Since February 2016, Negris has also served on Science World’s Chair’s Council, which includes several community leaders who assist the not-for-profit organization in its mission to increase the people of British Columbia’s scientific literacy and passion for the natural world.

Responding to a Serious Wake-Up Call

It was during a conversation with the Chair’s Council that the idea for a Girls and STEAM event arose. Launched last year, the annual event was inspired, in part, by a study from UBC psychology professor Andrew Baron showing that more boys than girls (26 percent more) under age two are being brought to the Living Lab at Science World. “I said, ‘We need to do something about that,’” says Negris. “There are girls who are wanting to get into science and technology but have always had that concept that boys are better at math and that this is a boy thing. We need to stop the perpetuation of that.”

Before long, she had joined the organizing committee of the inaugural Girls and STEAM event, which was held on November 3, 2018, at Science World. The full-day symposium and showcase event, geared toward girls age 12 to 14, sought to encourage a passion for all things science, technology, engineering, art and design, and math (STEAM), with workshops, keynote speeches, and opportunities to connect with female leaders in the STEAM community. More than 300 girls attended, including Negris’s 12-year-old daughter. “It was nice, as validation, that there’s interest in the province, that it’s an important thing for girls to be in STEAM.”

Then, using her provincial connections, Negris took things a step further by obtaining a proclamation from the government of BC that declared the first week in November to be Women and Girls in STEAM Week. “I said, ‘If we do it for a week, and we do this every year, we could have lots of organizations start to coalesce around that week and do lots of events.’ So, it's not one event, one Science World event, but something we do across the province.”

Working toward a Thriving Future

For Negris, having a broad reach is key for Science World, as it continues to be a beacon for scientific literacy and discovery—not just in Vancouver, but all across the province. She points to Symbiosis, a new Science World initiative that has government support and will help build partnerships beyond the city’s borders to cultivate “a sustainable STEAM Learning Ecosystem with equitable access for all learners.”

She also sees a future for the institution that builds on its expertise in experiential learning and allows it to become a hub for innovative thinking. “We need to make Science World the place where people will come—and not just for events. People of all ages—not just kids, but teenagers and adults too.” As Negris sees it, the goal of Science World becoming “the place” to bring together scientific ideas from all corners of the province is one that will endure for the next 30 years and beyond.

As Science World at TELUS World of Science celebrates our 30th anniversary, we are connecting with people who have made an impact on our physical space and in the community of science enthusiasts and supporters in British Columbia. We present here a selection of their stories, and hope that their words will inspire you to continue to help us ignite wonder and empower dreams for the next generation of STEAM leaders and the people of British Columbia. If you have a story to share about how Science World has impacted your life in a meaningful way, please share it with us online on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.


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