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April 12, 2017
GETT: A wonderful opportunity for girls to learn about science and technology careers
By: Jennifer Duff

This year’s GETT event was an opportunity for Accenture to introduce girls from grades 5-10 to virtual and augmented reality.

I was thrilled to attend this year’s Girls Exploring Tomorrow’s Technology (GETT) event on March 25 at West Chester East High School in West Chester, Pennsylvania—an event where Accenture was a Pioneer sponsor.

GETT is a free, fun, informational event for middle and high school girls in grades 5-10 and their parents to learn about career opportunities in STEM-related industries. The day is filled with exciting, enlightening and experiential workshops led by successful women in science and technology fields. The event is an initiative of the Innovative Technology Action Group (ITAG), which has the mission of promoting information technology, communications and technological processes to companies and individuals in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

This year I was joined by six of my Accenture colleagues at our expo table. We introduced more than 300 girls and their parents to virtual and augmented reality through a HoloLens demo of a water molecule. It was fabulous to see the girls interacting with the technology, telling the water molecule to transform, and watching their reactions as the molecule changed shape.

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We also talked about the difference between learning how to perform a task—in this case, building a LEGO model of a lighthouse—by following steps written on paper versus being guided by a HoloLens app. The HoloLens proved to be significantly faster.

When we asked the girls if they thought augmented reality could be used in various aspects of healthcare, they could clearly see the potential for its use in training, designing knee and hip implants, research and treatment.

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When asked about their use of health apps, 55 percent of the girls said that they or their parents currently use health apps. And when asked if they could imagine a future without in-person doctor visits, 47 percent agreed that is a possibility. Of the 60 girls we surveyed, 56 girls thought technology could potentially make healthcare more accessible.

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The highlight of the day for me was interacting with the girls. They were incredibly energetic, thoughtful, listened carefully and asked great questions. It was also exciting to see so many women and men taking the time to inspire the next generation.

I’d like to offer my heartfelt thanks to the organizers for putting together a wonderful event. It seems to grow by leaps and bounds each year and provides such a valuable and necessary venue for teaching girls that they have a place in science and technology. I’m already looking forward to next year’s event and thinking about the types of technology we could showcase that will get girls excited and considering a career in industries like life sciences.

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