Atlanta, GA – April 27, 2011 – The Atlanta-based non-profit Women in Technology (WIT) supports the advancement of women in all phases of their science-, technology-, engineering- and math-based careers, and that begins with school-aged girls. Through its WIT Foundation, it has sponsored two local high school teams that are successfully competing in robotics competitions.WIT Foundation’s year-round initiative Girls Get IT connects the Georgia business community with school-aged girls to inspire and nurture their interest in technology through mentoring activities such as behind-the-scenes and career exploration workshops and job shadowing programs. In addition, the Foundation identifies and awards funding to worthy student initiatives, like these middle- and high school robotics teams.
The North Atlanta High School Warbotz, comprised of girls and boys, competed recently in the Peachtree Regional FIRST Robotics Competition, receiving the Rookie All Star Award and advancing to the FIRST Championship taking place in St. Louis April 27 – 30. WIT Foundation granted Warbotz $3000 for their participation in the regional competition and an additional $2500 towards their championship competition registration and travel. The Rookie award recognizes excellence in the creation of a comprehensive organization which includes robot building, business plan and marketing, community outreach, website design and judge interviews with team members.WIT Foundation President Margot King commented, “We are thrilled to be a support branch to the Warbotz team and ecstatic to see what its members have been exposed to! We know that the upcoming competition experience will be the cornerstone of their future education in technology and beyond.”
GENIUS (Girls Exploring New Ideas Using Science) robotics is the state of Georgia’s first all-girls robotics team and is also a recipient of WIT Foundation support ($3750). GENIUS, based in Cobb County and comprised of six Girl Scouts, won the First Place Champions Award at the FIRST Lego League Georgia State Championship and advances to the FIRST Lego League World Festival, also in St. Louis from April 27 – 3.
WIT Board of Directors President Sandra Hofmann commended the teams’ accomplishments, “The passionate advocacy of WIT burns white hot at FIRST Robotics! We are so excited to see the level of energy and commitment displayed by the girls participating in the programs. These girls not only ‘get IT,’ they rock and sizzle! What a wonderful return on our investment in the next generation.”
Grantees are selected by WIT based on a combination of factors, including alignment with the organization’s mission, potential impact of the program or initiative on the intended audience, a demonstrated history of success and synergy with the individuals and organizations in the WIT ecosystem that allow WIT to continue to extend its reach.
For more information on WIT’s Girls Get IT program, visit www.mywit.org
Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With support from three out of every five Fortune 500 companies and more than $14 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC® ) and FIRST®Tech Challenge (FTC® ) for high-school students, FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL® ) for 9 to 14-year-olds, (9 to 16-year-olds outside the U.S. and Canada) and Junior FIRST® LEGO® League (Jr.FLL™) for 6 to 9-year-olds. Gracious Professionalism™ is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST, go towww.usfirst.org.
About Women in Technology (WIT)
WIT’s mission is to serve as passionate advocates for advancing women in Georgia’s technology community. Each year, more than 1,000 thought leaders and professionals attend WIT Forums, WIT’s leadership and networking series. WIT delivers professional development programs, such as WIT Executive Readiness and WIT Careers in Action, to enable members to hone their leadership skills and achieve visibility within the business community.
WIT’s philanthropic and educational programs, such as Girls Get IT, provide outreach to educate and encourage girls and young women to pursue careers in science and technology. WIT has two annual premier events, WIT Connect, WIT’s annual fundraiser event, and WIT’s Women of the Year in Technology Awards honoring the women who lead Georgia’s technology community. WIT is a founding society of the Technology Association of Georgia, an umbrella membership organization that serves the Georgia technology community. For more information on WIT and the WIT Foundation, WIT’s philanthropic arm, visit www.mywit.org.
About WIT Foundation
Founded in 2004, the WIT Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization that supports the philanthropic aims of WIT, Inc. The WIT Foundation focuses on pre-career programs, awarding cash grants to area organizations and non-profits focusing on girls and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
WIT starts early guiding women in technology toward success, and the WIT Foundation-created Girls Get IT program is a perfect example. WIT creates a community of female students of all ages, partners them with local professional women in technology, then helps them make informed decisions about careers in science, technology, engineering and math.
Heather Rocker, Executive Director