Utah’s SheTech Conference aims to inspire generation of girls
Park Record intern
On March 1, more than 2,000 girls gathered in the Mountain American Exposition Center in Sandy for the SheTech Conference. These girls, ranging from ninth- to 12th-graders, were there for one purpose: to learn about and encourage their activity in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).
Founded by the Women Tech Council, the SheTech Conference is an annual conference held in Utah to encourage girls to connect with STEM.
“SheTech is a STEM activation program,” said Cydni Tetro, president of the Women Tech Council. “It is really about how we inspire these … high school girls into STEM … how we can help them become interested.”
The main goal of the SheTech Conference is to allow girls and women to specifically become interested in STEM. Because less than 25 percent of the overall workforce in STEM fields is female, the women of the Women Tech Council decided that it was time to encourage teenage girls to become part of this career type. The sponsors of the Women Tech Council agreed, and thus a new movement was born.
The SheTech Conference consists of workshops girls were able to attend, a keynote speaker and a “TechZone” where they were able to take part in STEM activities. During the conference, many of SheTech’s sponsors had booths in this section of the convention, including Ancestry.com, Vivint and Adobe.
“Adobe has been involved with SheTech since they came to the valley about five years ago,” said Cindy Sanders, Adobe’s director of operations. “We have a booth where people can learn about Adobe and the potential opportunities there. Then, we also have one of the workshops where you can learn about our … product(s).”
Along with Adobe’s different programs at the conference, Vivint also played a major role in the conference. At its booth, girls were able to observe STEM in everyday life.
“Seeing that connectivity and light in person really makes it come to life and understand how it can be applicable in your everyday life,” said Lauren Probst, the company’s marketing manager, .
SheTech’s main purpose is to inspire girls to pursue careers in STEM; however, the program has done much more than that. It brought girls together with STEM and proved to be an encouraging experience.
“My favorite thing about SheTech was meeting different people from me, but learning that they were also as interested in having a career in the STEM field,” said Katie Vazquez, a student at South Summit High School. “SheTech was a wonderful experience for me.”
“Focus on the data outcomes, on the academic achievement outcomes, on the rankings that we have. The school board is happy with the direction of the district,” said Andrew Caplan, school board president. “We can always do a better job, especially with things that aren’t our core expertise like building and land management.”
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