. By Nailah Williams
On Thursday March 16, Women in Technology’s Girls in Technology (GIT) Committee hosted their spring Sharing Our Success program at the Booz Allen Hamilton Innovation Center in DC. Over 60 girls attended to learn about the benefits of women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. I noticed the girls making new friends and bonding over their interest in STEM.
At the start of the event, the girls and their parents observed and participated in various STEM demonstrations including telepresence and VEXIQ robotics, virtual and augmented reality simulator, ‘Microsoft Guess my Age’ game, a coding and creative development app and Local Motors’ 3D engineering equipment and creations.
Local Motors’ Customer Expansion Manager, Tracye Johnson explained how the company designs 3D cars to help people visualize their ideas better. I asked Traceye why it is important for girls to be exposed to STEM. She replied, “STEM brings out the creativity in people. It’s important that we prepare girls to pursue careers in what may be seen as male roles.”
My favorite part of the entire event was the panel discussion. We were introduced to four brilliant women in STEM fields: Kim Lynch, VP at Booz Allen Hamilton, Jaira Vasconcellos, post doctorate fellow at the National Institutes of Health, Stephanie Moore, Engineer at Booz Allen Hamilton and Julieta Lischinsky, Neuroscience and Biomedical Science, PhD candidate at George Washington University. We got to hear about the panel’s roles at these organizations and career journey.
Their paths to their careers were not straight. Stephanie Moore started out as a computer science major in college but changed to business. She says one of the main reasons she switched was because she “just wasn’t a fan of math”. What Mrs. Moore loves about her job is interacting with different people and working on diverse projects. “No day is ordinary or basic” she explained.
I enjoyed a moment in the spotlight, though the opportunity to serve as a student reporter at the GIT Sharing Our Success event was rewarding enough. Ms. Curlis Phillip, GIT Committee Chair, asked me to come on stage, kindly thanked me and gave me a gift: Spilling Ink – A Young Writer’s Handbook by Ann Mazer and Ellen Porter.
I can honestly say that organizations like Girls in Technology is so important to my generation. It’s important for girls and young women to learn how to solve problems and challenge ourselves with situations in the world. The world is ever changing – why shouldn’t we be a part of mapping that change?