CONCORD — On Tuesday March 15, NHTI-Concord’s Community College, will proudly host the fourth annual Girls Technology Day (GTD), an initiative of the New Hampshire Department of Education’s (NHDOE) Career Development Bureau. GTD has expanded over the years in response to overwhelming demand, and now takes place over a three day period to accommodate 800 participants. NHTI is hosting the opening day of the event, followed by UNH-Durham on Thursday March 17, and Manchester Community College on Friday March 18.
In New Hampshire, and across the country, there is a severe shortage of women pursuing technical careers. According to Generation STEM: What Girls Say About Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, a 2012 report by the Girl Scout Research Institute, “women account for about only 20% of the bachelor’s degrees in engineering, computer science, and physics” and “regardless of the specific area of STEM, only about 25% of these positions are held by women.”
NHDOE, in collaboration with the New Hampshire High Tech Council, launched Girls Technology Day in an effort to combat this problem. They decided to focus on grades 9 and 10, because that is the age at which many young people begin focusing on interests that may ultimately become career paths. Paradoxically, it is also the age at which girls often seem to get “turned off” to math, science and technology.
Participants in this year’s event will hear from keynote speakers including Jeopardy! Winner Kerry Greene (NHTI), Georgia Harris of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (UNH), and WMUR meteorologist Hayley LaPointe (MCC). The rest of the day will consist of a series of hands-on workshops exploring various high technology topics, including:
Workshops will be led by educators and industry leaders from the local community, including Autodesk, GZA Geoenvironmental, Hinton Technical Services, Albany Engineered Composites, ReVision Energy, and the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. During their lunch break, students will also have the opportunity to attend a vendor fair, where they can learn about college options, career opportunities and see more technology at work.
NHTI, Concord’s Community College, is a fully accredited, public community college serving students, businesses and the community by providing excellent academic, technical and professional education. NHTI offers over 80 academic programs to more than 6,000 students. NHTI is a member of the Community College System of New Hampshire.