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ITHACA, NY – Although women hold close to half of all jobs in the U.S. economy, they hold less than 25 percent of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) jobs. To improve those numbers, the Cortland and Ithaca branches of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) are together hosting one of 23 AAUW Tech Savvy programs happening nationally.

The daylong event is designed to show girls firsthand how studying STEM and pursuing STEM activities can lead to exciting careers. The program, entitled Tech Savvy: A Path to a STEM Career, will welcome 120 girls in grades six through nine and their families to Tompkins Cortland Community College (TC3) on Saturday, April 9, 2016.

Registration opened March 6, 2016 and will close April 4, 2016.

The $5 registration fee includes a light breakfast, lunch, a savvy girl t-shirt, and a full day of activities and hands- on workshops. Sheila Cohen, Tech Savvy Co-Chair, AAUW-Cortland, describes the workshops as “creative and engaging. Girls will have a chance to work with solar powered bikes, create interactive computer games, and program a robot, as well as learn and practice savvy skills like critical thinking and public speaking.”

Adult sessions will focus on preparing and encouraging girls on their path to a STEM career. The day will end with a keynote address by Kathryn J. Boor, Dean of Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

For details about the program and registration, please visit:

“Thanks to the generosity of our funders, cosponsors, presenters, and members we have been able to create this exciting and informative line-up of workshops and speakers,” explains Sarah Johnson, Tech Savvy Co-Chair, AAUW-Ithaca. Major funders include AAUW National and AAUW-NYS, along with many local businesses and organizations; major cosponsors include TC3, WSKGScience, and SciGirls.

“What’s great about Tech Savvy is that it’s a family affair. Parents take part in the conference because they are an important part of the solution,” said Ana Kay Yaghoubian, STEM senior manager at AAUW. “We want moms, dads, and other supportive adults to encourage girls to pursue their STEM passions because too many girls still get the message that those fields aren’t for them.”

Created in 2006 by Tamara Brown, former president of the AAUW Buffalo (NY) Branch, Tech Savvy has since served more than 5,000 girls. As a result of her work, Brown was honored as a White House Champion of Change.

(Featured image from GrrlScientist on Flickr)

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Michael Smith

Michael Smith reports on politics and local news for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached via email at, by cell at (607) 229-0885, or via Google Voice at (518) 650-3639.