Tech Savvy Day aims to get more young women into STEM careers


GAYLORD – Dr. Florence Rena Sabin was a pioneer for women in science in the United States. She was the first woman to hold a tenured professorship at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the first woman elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

Sabin’s accomplishments are worth noting in March, which is Women’s History Month. Yet experts said women remain an underutilized resource in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

Women only make up 28% of the workforce in STEM careers and gender gaps are particularly high in some of the fastest growing and highest paying jobs of the future, such as IT and engineering, according to the American Association of University Women.

In response to these trends, the Gaylord area branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) is sponsoring its seventh annual Tech Savvy event. Tech Savvy is a one-day program scheduled for April 23 at Gaylord University Center.

“Our goal is to encourage equity in education for women and girls. We know that STEM fields are growing, but women are underrepresented in these fields,” said AAUW Branch’s Mary Fox. Gaylord.

Registration is now open for this event designed to inspire young women in grades six through nine by introducing them to careers in science, technology, engineering and math and engaging them in hands-on workshops. In addition to offering activities for girls, the event also offers concurrent sessions for parents and adult mentors wishing to encourage girls in their STEM pursuits.

When registering for Tech Savvy, participants can choose from a variety of hands-on workshops taught by women who work in STEM fields. This year’s workshops include topics such as “Slice it Up” where girls will slice, dice and explore ways to feed a growing world while exploring agricultural science, “Scream for Ice Cream” in which girls will discover materials science and engineering while making ice cream, and “What’s a video game anyway?” where girls will analyze video games and explore career paths in this burgeoning IT field.

Other workshops include “Rockin’ Robots”, “Science Says”, “Dream Design” and more.

Girls and adults in Otsego County can attend Tech Savvy for free, thanks to funding provided by the Gaylord Area Branch of the AAUW. The cost for those in other regions is $8 per student and $5 per adult, which includes breakfast, lunch, event program, hands-on workshops, speakers, and prizes. Young women who register before April 11 will also receive a special Tech Savvy t-shirt designed especially for this year’s event.

To sign up for Tech Savvy, visit the AAUW Gaylord branch website and click on the register button. Additional information is also available on the site’s Tech Savvy page. Also check the AAUW Gaylord Area Branch Facebook page for regular updates.

Tech Savvy is funded by grants from the Otsego Community Foundation, Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), DCP Antrim Gas of Johannesburg, and Zonta International.

AAUW is a national organization that advances equity and education for women and girls. The Gaylord Area Branch is empowering through education awards, educational programs and by honoring the achievements of local women.


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