Event Aims to Promote STEM Among Girls

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An event Saturday focused on STEM at Conner Prairie in Fishers is expected to attract more than 1,500 girls ages 7-12. Passport to Hi-Tech aims to connect young girls with women in STEM fields. In an interview on Inside INdiana Business Television, Women & Hi Tech President Tiffany White says the event allows girls to take part in hands-on, interactive experiences in STEM-related activities.

Women & Hi Tech created the event four years ago in partnership with Conner Prairie. Passport to Hi-Tech will allow girls to take part in chemistry experiments and learn about robotics, computer coding, space exploration and health. Gail Brown, program developer at Conner Prairie, says girls will have the opportunity to meet mentors at various levels.

Brown said combining Conner Prairie with STEM education is a very appropriate mix. "Part of our mission of inspiring curiosity and fostering learning goes a long way and when we were approached by Women & Hi Tech to really help engage girls in STEM, it was kind of a no-brainer for us."

Brown says the event has grown significantly over the past four years. In its first year, Passport to Hi-Tech featured 18 exhibitors and about 500 attendees. Now, the event has more than 40 exhibitors, including companies such as Roche Diagnostics, Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) and Cummins Inc. (NYSE; CMI), and more than 1,500 attendees.

Both Brown and White say, while the event is focused on young girls, boys are welcome to participate as well. White adds there are plans to add a second Passport to Hi-Tech event in August at the University of Indianapolis.

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