On Saturday, May 4, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., the American Association of University Women’s Connecticut Chapter (AAUW CT) will host its sixth annual Tech Savvy Conference at Trinity College, Mather Hall, 300 Summit St. in Hartford.
The conference is open to sixth to ninth grade girls who want to learn about careers in science, technology, math and engineering, and for parents and educators who want to encourage girls to realize their potential in these fields.
Check-in and continental breakfast opens at 8 a.m. with opening remarks at 8:45 a.m. by Trinity College President Joanne Berger-Sweeney. Throughout the day, girls will choose four of nine hands-on workshops and take a brief tour of campus.
Led by female leaders in biology, engineering, math and science, workshops include 3D Design and Printing, Amazing DNA Science!, ELISA Diagnostic Testing, Get Your Rube-On, How Many Black Bears are in CT?, Leg Savvy, Let’s Do the Jitterbug!, Make Your own Android App, and Using Natural Pigments for pH Analysis of Household Products. Lunch for the girls will be in the student cafeteria at Trinity’s Mather Hall.
Adult workshops and panel discussions, including panel discussions with women in STEM careers and current STEM women college students, will provide parents, guardians and teachers the tools to encourage girls’ exploration of STEM careers.
In 2018, The Brookings Institution reported that:
While women earn more college degrees than men overall, they earn only 35 percent of undergraduate degrees issued in STEM fields.
STEM field faculty remains predominantly male.
Women are under-represented in the innovation pipeline.
Women remain under-represented in the most common digital and tech jobs.
The American Association of University Women (AAUW) Connecticut Chapter is working to improve those numbers. Connecticut’s Tech Savvy program is funded in part by AAUW, AAUW CT, the Petit Family Foundation and the generosity of individual local donors.
Tech Savvy and similar programs are one way to increase the number of women in the STEM pipeline. Other recommendations, including suggestions for employers, appear in AAUW’s 2015 research report, Solving the Equation: The Variables for Women’s Success in Engineering and Computing.