DALLAS, Oct. 17, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Girl Powered, a global initiative that is increasing girls' access to and confidence in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers, launches a series of hands-on workshops this month. The Girl Powered Flagship Event, to be held Oct. 20 from 10am – 2pm CT, for students grades 2-12, at Texas Instruments (TI) headquarters in Dallas, will feature a keynote presentation by Dr. Knatokie Ford, biomedical scientist, former White House Senior Policy Advisor and female STEM education advocate.
Girl Powered, launched in 2016 by the Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation and VEX Robotics, encourages equal participation of young women and men in all STEM fields. Students will experience the excitement of building robots, testing their problem-solving skills and meeting female STEM mentors at 100 Girl Powered workshops, hosted in community venues across the world.
Shattering Statistics, Creating Opportunities for Girls in STEM
Women comprise half of the overall workforce in the U.S., yet account for only 25 percent of computer and mathematical roles and 14 percent of engineering roles. Girl Powered aims to shatter these statistics by sparking new interest in STEM with hands-on workshop activities developed to nurture girls' engagement, with support by TI.
"By supporting Girl Powered, Texas Instruments is paving new pathways to STEM careers for all student populations, especially girls, in Dallas and across our nation," said Dan Mantz, CEO and chairman of the board, The Robotics Education & Competition Foundation.
During the past five years, TI's philanthropic commitment to education totals nearly $150 million and joins giving with volunteering to grow more STEM-capable students.
"All jobs require STEM aptitude and problem-solving skills, even those outside of STEM fields, and we must encourage STEM skills for all students," said Peter Balyta, Ph.D., vice president of academic engagement and corporate citizenship for Texas Instruments, and president of its Education Technology business. "If girls do not have a strong sense of self or confidence in their own abilities, they begin backing away from more complex subjects such as math and science and the likelihood of entering and remaining in a STEM career greatly reduces. The work being done by Girl Powered is helping to change how girls interact and identify with STEM concepts."
From Shy Girl to Girl Powered Scientist
At the Girl Powered Flagship Event, Oct. 20 at TI, Dr. Ford @fly_sci will share her emotional learning experience from a shy school girl to a confident scientist. As a small child, Dr. Ford experienced an accident that made her blind in one eye, which sparked her interest in how the eyes function. That experience drove Dr. Ford's curiosity to pursue a career in bioscience medicine, which took her to Harvard University, then a teaching career in South Central Los Angeles, and later went on to work in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy as a senior policy advisor. Today, Dr. Ford is an entrepreneur and education advocate who uses media to promote social change, especially public perception of and participation in STEM careers.
The Girl Powered Flagship Event on Oct. 20 will include activities such as "Ask an Engineer," a Q&A session where students will meet with STEM leaders and ask them questions about their career experiences. Leaders include: Michelle Johnson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Pennsylvania; Hope Shimabuku, Director of the Texas Regional U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; Vivian Chu, Ph.D., Co-Founder and CTO of Diligent Robotics; and Amanda Leslie, Product Marketing Engineer, Texas Instruments. Following the discussion, there will be a series of hands-on STEM activities including a popsicle stick catapult, boast challenge, DIY lava lamp, DaVinci Bridge, a hands-on coding activity and building exercises, and the opportunity to drive real competition robots. The keynote speaker will be on webcast for 100 other Girl Powered events with thousands of people tuning into the event.
Girl Powered workshops coincide with the International Day of the Girl, adopted by the United Nations in 2011 to advance opportunities for girls everywhere.
To join the initiative, students and mentors can take the Girl Powered pledge online and current VEX IQ Challenge and VEX Robotics Competition teams can enter the Girl Powered Online Challenges. The leadership committee has also created a selection of online materials intended to aid coaches, mentors, and parents in creating experiences where students feel supported in their exploration of STEM and robotics equally. For more information, visit GirlPowered.com.
About the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation (REC) Foundation
The Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation's mission is to increase student interest and involvement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by engaging students in hands-on, affordable, and sustainable robotics engineering programs. For more information on the REC Foundation, visit www.RoboticsEducation.org.
About VEX Robotics
VEX Robotics is a leading provider of educational and competitive robotics products to schools, universities, and robotics teams around the world. The VEX IQ and VEX EDR product lines span elementary, middle, and high schools with accessible, scalable, and affordable robotics solutions. Beyond science and engineering principles, a VEX Robotics project encourages teamwork, leadership, and problem solving among groups. It allows educators to easily customize projects to meet the level of students' abilities as they inspire & prepare the STEM problem-solvers of tomorrow.
About Texas Instruments
From connected cars and intelligent homes, to self-monitoring health devices and automated factories, Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) products are at work in virtually every type of electronic system. With operations in more than 30 countries, we engineer, manufacture, test and sell analog and embedded semiconductor chips. Our more-than 30,000 employees worldwide are driven by core values of integrity, innovation and commitment, and work every day to shape the future of technology. Learn more at www.TI.com.
SOURCE Girl Powered