Coding. Aerodynamics. Astronomy. STEM careers. These were some of the topics that young girls from eight U.S. Virgin Islands schools learned about during a Girls In Future Technologies (GIFT) Workshop hosted by the U.S.V.I. and Puerto Rico chapter of Women of AT&T (WOA) at the University of the Virgin Islands. WOA is an AT&T employee resource group focused on professional development and community efforts to prepare students, especially young girls, for the future.
Students from Bertha C. Boschulte Middle School, Addelita Cancryn Junior High School, Antilles School, Virgin Islands Montessori School & Peter Gruber International Academy, All Saints Cathedral School, New Testament School, Joseph Sibilly School, Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic School, and St. Thomas-St. John Girl Scouts attended the four-hour workshop.
Staff from the university’s IT, science and astronomy departments, the Virgin Islands Children’s Museum and the Virgin Islands Next Generation Network (viNGN) led activities that exposed the girls to the possibilities of careers in science, technology, engineering and math.
“Women are underrepresented in the STEM fields,” said Catherine Kling, a member of the U.S.V.I & Puerto Rico Women of AT&T chapter. “The goal of the GIFT Workshop is to spark interest in STEM education for young girls and make them aware of the different paths to a STEM career.”
In-kind sponsors for the event included McDonalds, the University of the Virgin Islands, the Virgin Islands Children’s Museum, Virgin Islands Next Generation Network and Emerald Beach Resort.