The Foundation at Work
WIT Education Foundation helps hundreds of girls and women get excited about careers in math, science, and technology by financially supporting the following programs:
Women in Technology Mentor-Protégé Program
In 2010 WIT’s GIT Committee held the inaugural Mentor-Protégé program created by and for high school girls. 25 girls participated. The focus of the program was using small group mentoring (1 mentor to 3 or 4 girls) along with topical speakers and discussion groups to introduce the girls to the opportunities in technology-related careers. Sessions were held monthly for 3 months. Here’s what graduates had to say about the program:
“A fun and inspiring program for young women who have a passion for technology.”
“This program opened my eyes to so many opportunities in the technology field. I’m so glad I enrolled in it.”
“Thank you so much! You have truly inspired me for so many reasons. Through this program I was able to meet people who can direct me to my goal of getting into MIT.”
Sharing Our Success
GIT presented the eighth annual “Sharing Our Success” event sponsored by WIT Education Foundation, Microsoft, and others. Over 80 girls in grades 6-12 had the opportunity to come together for a night of networking, ‘guesstimation’ games, and hands-on demonstrations. They viewed a video entitled “You Can Be Anything,” and heard a panel discussion. The theme was “Your Passion – You Choose!” with professional women sharing stories of combining their interests in law, video, robotics, and design with technology to create successful careers. The parent of one attendee said, “This session last night was terrific in many ways, but mostly because my daughter felt like a winner in math! And that does not happen with a lot of regularity.” Once again the program was a great success.
WIT Education Foundation again proudly sponsored Techstravaganza at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in 2010. Techstravaganza is a science, technology, math, and engineering exploration day for upper elementary and middle school students and their parents. Students had the opportunity to conduct hands-on science experiments as well as witness demonstrations and speak with scientists.
Global Diversity: Enriching Technology
WIT Education Foundation partnered with MDWIT (Multinational Development of Women in Technology) and other organizations to host the 4th annual MDWIT conference. The session brought together professional members of the engineering community and students with supporters from government and academia to explore promoting diversity in our work force. The day included keynote speakers, networking opportunities, workshops, tips and tools. A new “Tech Shadows” program enabled high school girls to attend and to shadow a top level engineer.
Wakefield High School Computing Programs
WIT Education Foundation provided a grant to fund Wakefield High School’s programs for introducing girls to STEM-related careers. Wakefield High School, in Arlington, VA, has a student population of 1,365, about 47% of which qualify for free or reduced lunch. The technology staff strive to inspire high school girls to pursue STEM careers through Lunch-n-Learn and after school Computer Club sessions sponsored by WIT Education Foundation.
The objective of “Lunch-n-Learn” is to expand the knowledge that each girl has of STEM careers and encourage her to investigate new possibilities. These monthly events bring together women from STEM-related careers with students from Wakefield. The speakers, who are volunteers from GIT, then captivate participants by telling them their personal stories and sharing the excitement of their careers. These events are open to all girls.
The after school Computer Club for girls meets once a week to explore various technologies such as programming with Alice, Game Maker and Unity3D.