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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Thousands of local girls engage in SheTech Explorer Day activities

Jun 03, 2024 01:22PM ● By Julie Slama

At the 10th annual SheTech Explorer Day TechZone, students tried out 3D pens as well as explored tech booths and talked to industry professionals. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

Riverton High senior Gabi Fenn was one of 3,000 girls from 130 of high schools across the state who was immersed for a day of STEM education at the 10th annual SheTech Explorer Day.

“You’re going to have an opportunity today to see so many different technologies and to be able to apply to things that you love,” Cydni Tetro, president and one of the founders of Women Tech Council who oversaw SheTech Explorer Day, told the girls. “Think about if you learn technology, how you can apply that and help us change the world.”

Girls had the opportunity to attend workshops in programming, engineering, aerospace, robotics, biomedicine, esports, web design and more as well as talk to 1,000 professionals in the industry in the hands-on TechZone. There, many of them discovered that science and technology will be part of whatever career they would choose, Tetro said.

There also were opportunities to learn about college and career pathways and programs, which Fenn checked out.

“I want to learn more about the colleges’ engineering programs,” she said. “I’m thinking of studying biological engineering because I like biology and chemistry.”

Her classmate, senior Shreya Goyal, already has been accepted into Vanderbilt University’s engineering program.

“I’m figuring out what kind of engineering I’m interested in and what I want to do in the future by talking to these different companies here,” she said. “We just talked to one company’s biological engineering person, and that was pretty cool.”

Both girls have served the past year on SheTech’s student board, where they helped plan this event.

“This has been a great opportunity to meet other girls who are interested in the same things as us and make connections for the future,” Goyal said.

Applications for the one-year SheTech student board positions and summer internships are now open.

Around the corner from them, a large group was huddled around the one of the dozens and dozens of industry and college booths. They were talking with one of the Utah Royals’ owners, Jessica Gelman, who pointed out that they use tech from the heart monitors to taking care of the field.

“We’ve come back with a new ownership group and everything other than the name was recreated; so much of what we’re doing on the team side is analytics because there has been a lack of it in women’s sport,” she said. “A huge focus is leveraging STEM to drive both the player side, the performance side on field, as well as the business side. We believe strongly how analytics is a differentiator and we want to empower and help young women understand these opportunities that they’re passionate about.”

The interactive SheTech Explorer Day concluded with the opportunity for students to innovate and create in teams. In the TechChallenge, they brainstormed ideas to solve an issue and pitched their solution to industry mentors. λ