Registration is open for TECH Savvy -- STEM program for girls and parents on April 9

Post date: Feb 13, 2016 7:31:45 PM

The Cortland and Ithaca branches of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) are hosting TECH Savvy, a daylong event designed to show girls firsthand how science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields can lead to exciting careers.

The event will take place on Saturday April 9, from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM, at Tompkins Cortland Community College, 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 is now open 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.

Although women fill close to half of all jobs in the U.S. economy, they hold less than 25 percent of STEM jobs. The Cortland and Ithaca branches’ program is one of 22 AAUW events nationwide working to improve those numbers.

“Last year’s conference was a big hit with students and parents alike. This year’s program will be even more informative and engaging. It is designed to assure girls they can be physicists, mathematicians, computer scientists and engineers, professions that few females pursue right now,” said Sheila Cohen, Chair of Cortland’s 2015 TECH Savvy conference.

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 new research report, Solving the Equation: The Variables for Women’sfor the Saturday April 9 event at Tompkins Cortland Community College Success in Engineering and Computing.

“STEM’s gender problem is well known,” said Jill Birdwhistell, AAUW Chief Operating Officer. “We’re working with parents, teachers, and employers on solutions like Tech Savvy because attracting and retaining women in STEM fields isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s the smart thing to do.”

Morning sessions will feature fascinating hands-on TECH Savvy workshops on computer science and engineering, including robotics. There will also be a College Savvy workshop, in which girls get to "interview" with representatives from a number of colleges in the region.

After lunch, the focus will be on SAVVY Skills, where the focus is on communication and other skills needed for success in a STEM career. The day will end with an inspiring keynote address by a woman who has achieved success in a STEM field. See sample programs below for girls and adults.

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) empowers women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. Our nonpartisan, nonprofit organization has more than 170,000 members and supporters across the United States, as well as 1,000 local branches and more than 800 college and university partners. Since AAUW’s founding in 1881, our members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day — educational, social, economic, and political. Learn more at

Contact 1: Sheila Cohen, AAUW-Cortland, Cortland, NY,, 607.756.8191

Contact 2: Sarah Johnson, AAUW-Ithaca, Ithaca, NY, 14850,, 607.272.3336

SAMPLE Girls’ Program

8:30 – 9:30 AM Check-In and Breakfast

9:30 – 9:50 AM Welcome/Orientation (Girls and Adults)

10:00 – 11:00 AM Workshop I/College Savvy

11:00 AM – NOON Workshop II/College Savvy

12:00 – 1:00 PM Workshop III/College Savvy

1:00 – 1:45 PM Lunch (Girls and Adults)

1:45 – 2:00 PM Girls move to Savvy Skills workshop rooms

2:00 – 2:50 PM Savvy Skills Workshops

3:00 – 4:00 PM Keynote Address Closing Remarks, and Evaluation (Girls and Adults)

SAMPLE Adults’ Program

8:30 – 9:30 AM Check-In and Breakfast

9:30 – 9:50 AM Welcome/Orientation (Girls and Adults)

10:00 – 11:00 AM Encouraging Girls along a STEM Path

11:00 – NOON Choosing STEM majors and classes

NOON – 1:00 PM Financial Planning and Financial Aid

1:00 – 1:50 PM Lunch (Girls and Adults)

2:00 – 2:50 PM TECH Savvy Workshop

3:00 – 4:00 PM Keynote Address , Closing Remarks and Evaluation (Girls and Adults)