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Tech Savvy to Present STEM Fields to Girls

Tech Savvy to Present STEM Fields to Girls


Although women fill close to half of all jobs in the U.S. economy, they are far outnumbered by men in STEM fields, something an upcoming Tech Savvy event on Saturday, April 1, will strive to address.

The Cortland and Ithaca Branches of American Association of University Women (AAUW) will host the daylong event for area female pre-teens from 8:45 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at Tompkins Cortland Community College in Dryden, N.Y.

SUNY Cortland is among the event’s many sponsors and six volunteer members from the College community organized or will put on seminars to help 150 or more girls in grades 6 to 9 learn more about how science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields of study can lead to exciting careers.

“The branches are delighted to host Tech Savvy again in this region,” said event chair Sheila Cohen, a SUNY Cortland professor emeritus of literacy. “In addition to workshops and a STEM fair for girls and adults, we will highlight ‘savvy skills’ and a keynote presentation by Adriane Wolfe.”

Workshop titles include “3-D Software and Printers and Pens! Oh My!,” “Googling with Paper Airplanes” and “Spinning a Web Page. They will also have a choice of such “savvy skills” workshops as “Practicing the Four Cs of STEM (Collaboration, Creativity, Communication, and Critical Thinking)” and “Power Pose: Building Confident Strategies for Life.”

Adult sessions will focus on preparing and encouraging girls on paths to STEM careers.

The Cortland-Ithaca Tech Savvy event is one of 17 nationwide Tech Savvy sites working to improve the number of women in the STEM pipeline. Other resources, including suggestions for employers, appear in AAUW’s new research report, Solving the Equation: The Variables for Women’s Success in Engineering and Computing.

Online registration is open. Individual girls and adults are charged $10 at registration unless a fee waiver scholarship is requested. The fee includes a light breakfast and lunch, a savvy girl t-shirt and bag for each student, and a full day of activities and hands-on workshops for both the girls and the adults accompanying them. For information about fee waivers, please contact Sarah Johnson or 607-272-3336.

Transportation support and registration fee waivers for students and adults is available because of funding from a Women Building Community Grant of the City Federation of Women’s Organizations; Social Service League of Ithaca; Community Foundation of Tompkins County; Cornell University; and SUNY Cortland. Other sponsors include national, state and local AAUW, WSKGscience, Raymond Inc., Kionix, Walmart, Cornell CIS, Cortland Eye Center, Quinn Energy and TST BOCES. Transportation assistance is offered on a first-come, first-served basis to those for whom transportation costs would be a barrier to attendance. To qualify for 54 cents per mile reimbursement, applicants must travel more than 30 miles round trip to and from Tompkins Cortland Community College. Vehicles must carry three girls plus one adult in a car, five girls and one adult in a van or 10 girls plus two adults in a bus. For transportation and registration assistance in the Tompkins County area, contact Ithaca AAUW member Sarah Johnson. For other counties, contact Sheila Cohen.

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) empowers women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research. Our nonpartisan, nonprofit organization has more than 170,000 members and supporters across the United States as well as 1,000 local branches and more than 800 college and university partners. Since AAUW’s founding in 1881, members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day — educational, social, economic and political. Learn more or join at