Wednesday, March 26, 2014

First Ever CT Tech Savvy Inspires Girls, Parents & Teachers to STEM Careers

First Ever CT Tech Savvy Inspires Girls, Parents & Teachers to STEM Careers

(Hartford, CT) On Saturday, March 22nd at Central CT State University, 119 girls and 43 parents, teachers and caregivers were inspired by a daylong conference focusing on STEM that included hands-on workshops for 6th-9th grade girls.  The conference was one of only 9 pilot programs around the country funded by AAUW and Praxair Foundation and the first of its kind in CT. 

The conference drew girls and their parents or teachers from as far away as Bronx, NY and included girls from Hartford, Meriden and New Britain, as well.  Additional funding support was provided by AAUW branches and individual members, Central CT State University, Connecticut Space Grant Consortium and CWEALF who was a partner for this project.

Girls could partake in workshops such as K’Nex Competition and CSI: Tech Savvy. Meanwhile, the program for adults included topics such as Role Models Matter and Financial Preparedness.  

The day included a welcome by AAUW Tech Savvy founder Tamara Brown of Praxair raffle prize drawings and a trivia scavenger hunt at the College & Careers Corner and an inspirational address by keynote speaker Riva Krut , Vice President & Chief Sustainability Officer, Praxair, Inc. who taught the girls to write down their dream and check in on it regularly.

“We were thrilled to see so many girls from so many backgrounds get so excited about science, technology, engineering and math careers” stated Donna Haghighat, CT Tech Savvy Committee Chair and Co-President of AAUW of CT. “We had parents who came up to us after the day and said it isn’t ‘if’ you will do it again but ‘when’ because they found the day so beneficial.”  A committee consisting of professors from University of Hartford, AAUW and CWEALF members as well as a corps of nearly 50 volunteers ensured the day’s success.

About AAUW
AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. Formerly known as the American Association of University Women, AAUW is a nationwide network of more than 165,000 members and donors, 1,000 branches, and 800college/university partners. Since AAUW’s founding 130 years ago, its members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day — educational, social, economic, and political.

About Praxair Foundation

Since 1973 CWEALF has worked to advance women's rights and opportunities in Connecticut. To achieve this, CWEALF's work is divided into three core programs:
Through these programs, CWEALF initiates services to educate and empower women and girls to ensure they have the tools, knowledge and avenues to reach their goals.
With special expertise in family law, sex discrimination in employment and education, hate crimes and LGBT civil rights, CWEALF is dedicated to ensuring equal rights and opportunities for women and low-income people. As one of the oldest women's rights organizations in the country, CWEALF is a vital resource to women and policy makers in Connecticut.

 Media Contact: Donna Haghighat, AAUW Co-President

Photo credits: Maddy Dickinson

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