2018 Tech Savvy registration table
2018 Tech Savvy registration (Photo by Nick Caito)

Hartford, CT, April 18, 2019 – On Saturday, May 4, 2019, the American Association of University Women’s Connecticut Chapter (AAUW CT) will host its sixth annual Tech Savvy Conference from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Trinity College. Chairing Tech Savvy is Trinity engineering alumna Shakira Ramos Crespo ’02, deputy manager, Asia-Pacific, at Pratt & Whitney.

The conference is open to sixth- through ninth-grade girls who want to learn about careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), and for parents and educators who want to encourage girls to realize their potential in these fields.

Tech Savvy chemistry workshop
A chemistry lab was the setting for one of more than a dozen workshops at Tech Savvy 2018. Photo by Jenny Smith.

Led by female leaders in biology, engineering, math, and science, workshops will include 3D Design & Printing, Amazing DNA Science!, ELISA Diagnostic Testing, Get Your Rube-On, How Many Black Bears Are in CT?, Leg Savvy, Let’s Do the Jitterbug!, Make Your Own Android App, and Using Natural Pigments for pH Analysis of Household Products. Lunch for the girls will be in the student cafeteria at Trinity’s Mather Hall.

Adult workshops and panel discussions, including with women in STEM careers and current STEM women college students, will provide parents, guardians, and teachers the tools to encourage girls’ exploration of STEM careers.

President Joanne Berger-Sweeney welcomes attendees to Tech Savvy 2018.
President Joanne Berger-Sweeney welcomes attendees to
Tech Savvy 2018. Photo by Nick Caito.

Check-in and Continental breakfast begins at 8:00 a.m., with opening remarks by Trinity College President and Professor of Neuroscience Joanne Berger-Sweeney.

In 2018, The Brookings Institution reported that

  • While women earn more college degrees than men overall, they earn only 35% of undergraduate degrees issued in STEM fields
  • STEM field faculty remains predominantly male
  • Women are underrepresented in the innovation pipeline
  • Women remain underrepresented in the most common digital and tech jobs

AAUW CT is working to improve those numbers. Connecticut’s Tech Savvy program is funded in part by AAUW CT, the Petit Family Foundation, and the generosity of individual local donors.

Tech Savvy and similar programs are one way to increase the number of women in the STEM pipeline. Other recommendations, including suggestions for employers, appear in AAUW’s 2015 research report, Solving the Equation: The Variables for Women’s Success in Engineering and Computing.

Listen to a podcast interview about this year’s Tech Savvy: “For the People” program, hosted by John Voket (interview with Alison Draper begins at 2:43 and continues through 18:40.)