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UT Invites Area Students to “GETSMART” April 14

Published: March 14, 2012
In an effort to get more girls excited about careers in math, science and technology, The University of Tampa’s Department of Information and Technology Management and the Tampa Bay Technology Leadership Association (TBTLA) will co-host GETSMART (Getting Everyone to Study Math and Related Technologies) on Saturday, April 14, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

During the program, the girls will meet women working in the industry, participate in hands-on activities, and talk about their stereotypes and perceptions of STEM classes and careers.

Though women account for more than 59 percent of the workforce in the U.S., they remain underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers. Only 14.4 percent of architects and engineers are women and only 25.6 percent of computer and mathematical jobs are held by women, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. At the same time, jobs in these areas are expected to increase greatly in the next decade.

“It is well documented that there are not enough women choosing careers in these fields,” said Natasha Veltri, assistant professor of information and technology management. “Research also shows that by the time girls reach high school and college, they have already made their career decisions.”

At UT, for instance, 60 percent of the student body is female, but only 20 percent of students majoring in IT are female, according to Veltri.

“We have found that if we encourage girls when they are in middle school, they are more likely to develop an interest in pursuing a career in math, science or technology,” said Veltri. For this reason, GETSMART is aimed at girls in the 4th through 10th grades.

The program is free, but space is limited and pre-registration is required. For more information or to sign up to attend, please contact Kelly Ross at (727) 796-0727, x9304 or .