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Apr 01, 2017 05:22 PM EDT

The Women Tech Council from Utah launched the first expansion event of their SheTech program on Friday. It helped provide access to hands-on tech experiences and mentorship with industry experts to high school girls across the state and rural areas. It aims to engage and inspire them to pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers.

In partnership with the Governor's Office of Economic Development and the Department of Workforce Services, the council was able to get a grant from Talent Ready Utah to make the expansion possible. SheTech aims to create skilled workforce needed to continue Utah's strong economic growth.

Cydni Tetro, president of the Women Tech Council said women are critical part of the technology economy. The group wants girls from all regions to realize the opportunities and careers STEM education can provide. By expanding the program it ensures all girls in Utah have equal access and opportunity to industry and mentoring.

SheTech Explorer Day was done in partnership with Weber State University in Ogden. More than 400 high school girls participated. They each earned industry certifications, did problem solving with mentors from more than 30 companies and explored STEM careers through robotics, aerospace dynamics, 3D printing and virtual reality.

The participants had one-on-one mentoring with professionals from Wadman Engineering, Dealertrack, Pluralsight, Rocky Mountain Power and MarketStar.

Research from previous events showed 93 percent of high school girls showing interest in pursuing STEM careers after taking part in SheTech Explorer Day. Future events will continue to expand the program to reach rural areas according to The Journal.

Aside from Explorer day program, SheTech also provides continual engagement with the STEM industry by helping these girls gain internships, learn about college scholarships and find courses that match their interests.

Another SheTech Explorer Day event is set on May 8 at Southern Utah University, Cache County and Box Elder County according to Fox 13. Additional events will be held in Colorado and Idaho in the coming months. The SheTech program aims to reach and impact more than 10,000 high school girls to pursue STEM careers.

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Follows SheTech Explorer Day, stem, Women Tech Council, mentorship, tech experiences, science, technology, engineering and math, Governor's Office of Economic Development, Department of Workforce Services, Talent Ready Utah, Cydni Tetro, Weber State University, Robotics, aerospace dynamics, 3D printing, virtual reality, Wadman Engineering, Dealertrack, Pluralsight, Rocky Mountain Power, MarketStar
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