By Whitney Vickrey.
Over 100 girls from the DC metro area schools and clubs participated in the Girls in Technology (GIT) ‘Sharing Our Success” program on Thursday, November 6, 2014 at the CSC Executive Briefing Center in Falls Church. This was the 13th event this year presented by GIT, a committee of Women in Technology, dedicated to inspiring local middle and high school girls to pursue science, technology, engineering, art/design and mathematics (STEAM) related fields.
“Glad that I came here. It was very interesting and fun for me.”- Salina Shrestha, Falls Church High School
Local technology companies and organizations provided live and interactive demonstrations including 3-D printing from TechShop and the robots designed and built by students in the FIRST robotics club. Acumen Solutions presented their FAST application, built on a Salesforce.com cloud, and explained how mobile technology combined with cloud computing is helping to empower the mobile workforce. VMWare showed the practical applications of their virtualization technologies. CSC provided a college-recruiting experience so girls can learn how to maximize their college experience to land the perfect technology job. The staff from the new Microsoft store in the Montgomery Mall brought their new wearable fitness technology.
The girls also benefited from an interactive panel discussion and learned about STEM career opportunities and how disruptive technologies will change the employment landscape. The speakers shared their personal career experiences and responded to the girls’ specific questions.
“I learned so much from this event. I am really interested in robotics but in my school there is no program like that. it is so amazing for me to see the robotics that were made by FIRST. It is VERY cool.” -Trinh Tom, Robert E Lee High School
Questions related to college choices, social networking, personal networking, mentoring and programs that girls could participate in at school. After the panel discussion, the girls swarmed the panelists for even more questions and ideas.
The panel included:
- Catherine Kuenzel, VP and GM, CSC
- Robin Thurman, Director and Chairman, FIRST DC Regional
- Michele Van Patten Frank, Partner, Venable LLP
- Elizabeth Caudle, East Coast Regional Director, Girls Who Code
And was moderated by:
- Ann Marie Stetekluh, Principle Technology Sales Engineer, CSC
During the evening the girls were encouraged to complete a bingo card of facts about the companies and adults on the GIT committee. This exercise promoted interpersonal and networking skills. Those who completed the card were eligible to win a raffle prize, which included Logitech HD webcams, XBOX gift cards generously donated by Microsoft, laptop sleeves, MS Office software and an Apple mini tablet.
The GIT “Sharing Our Success” program helps cultivate interest in STEAM-related careers. “We have touched different generations of women and hopefully the message is getting out, and we can inspire from the classroom to the boardroom,” says Lara Rivera Lopez, Principal at CSC.
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The Girls in Technology committee graciously thanks its generous host, CSC, the WIT Education Foundation, and the demonstration companies: Acumen Solutions, TechShop, VMWare, Microsoft, FIRST and CSC, as well as our panelists and all of the volunteers who made the evening an incredible success.