Atlanta, GA – May 23, 2011 – The Atlanta-based non-profit Women in Technology (WIT) supported the first-ever STEM Summit for Girls on Saturday, May 21, an interactive program which encouraged middle- and high-school aged girls to consider education and career paths based in science-, technology-, engineering- and math, or the STEM disciplines.

The all-day program, co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau, Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, Girls Inc., the YWCA of Greater Atlanta and Cool Girls Inc., in collaboration with Georgia Tech, Emory University, Spelman College, Women in Technology and Georgia Power, was hosted at Georgia Tech’s Student Center and College of Computing. More than 300 girls from the Atlanta metropolitan area attended the event, which consisted of a panel discussion and multidisiplinary workshops.

 “The next generation of women leaders is here! It was amazing to see these girls get excited about the possibilities of STEM-related careers,” said WIT Executive Director Heather Rocker, who attended the event. “Giving these girls the opportunity to get hands-on—building suspension bridges from straws and string, teaching robots how to dance and building circuit boards—really made them appreciate that these disciplines can be fun and engaging.”

The program was spearheaded by Paulette Norvel Lewis, regional administrator of the Women’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor, and girls were invited to attend the event by each of the co-sponsoring organizations. The event kicked off with a panel discussion, moderated by Georgia Tech professor and former Atlanta mayoral candidate Bahareh Azizi. Middle-school girls were then given the opportunity to attend three hands-on workshops throughout the day, while high schoolers attended two in-depth workshops that emphasized project management and program development skills. Parents of the girls were also invited to attend a session specially designed to give them the tools to support their daughters’ career path in the STEM disciplines. The program was closed out by a keynote address from Suzanne Sitherwood, president of Atlanta Gas Light and Florida City Gas, senior vice president of Southern Operations and chair of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.

For more information about the STEM Summit, including workshop descriptions, biographies of participating professionals and photos from the event, please contact Maggie Kempken at mkempken@meetingexpectations.com.

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.

Contact:

Heather Rocker, Executive Director
678.778.5152
hrocker@mywit.org