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LIFE SCIENCES BLOG


April 23, 2018
GETT: Introducing girls to the art of the possible in science and technology careers
By: Jennifer Duff

I was once again thrilled to have the opportunity to attend Girls Exploring Tomorrow’s Technology (GETT). This year’s event, held on March 17, was hosted at the Phoenixville Area Middle School in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania.

GETT is an annual event for grade 5-10 girls and their parents that highlights career opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)-related industries. The day is filled with exciting, enlightening and experiential activities led by successful women in STEM fields.

This year our team prepared demos to show girls how to code, build and play.

Hour of code
Our basic coding demo has been a huge success in the events run by The Dock team Dublin, so we decided to include it in our agenda for the first time this year. Jenna Tomasevich ran a demo about basic coding to introduce logical thinking in a fun (not scary!) way. Using Moana as an example, she provided multi-level coding experience for girls up to grade 9 and beyond.

Lots of girls were intrigued by the demo and didn't hesitate to try coding on their own. Jenna was surprised so many of them had done similar activities before. Way to go girls! We should level up our game next year!

Robotics
We also provided an advanced robotics demo to senior girls and their parents. Hrishkesh Samant presented some of the most advanced robots out there (see here and here), and showcased how to use Alexa in clinical studies.

Again, we were surprised at how many girls were already familiar with Alexa—it’s a generation of technophiles, for sure. Hrish was so inspired by the event that he’s come up with an innovative new idea for using Alexa in healthcare. We’ll keep you posted on that one.

Virtual reality experience
Jennifer Stehanowicz and our Accenture Florham Park team kindly provided VR gear so that we could share a virtual reality experience with the girls. Ji-Yong Kang, Robert Sabatini and I had a lot of fun helping the girls try on the goggles and discover Jurassic Park and InMind.

This demo was definitely a hit. Our team had a hard time keeping up with the demand from girls wanting to try out VR for themselves. Even the moms and dads got into the fun. There were lots of comments along the lines of “Wow!” and “This is super cool!” It was great to see them having so much fun. Some especially eager students wanted to know how VR worked, and we were excited to explain the technology behind it. A highlight was when one girl walked off the Jurassic Park island into the ocean, taking everyone by surprise.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself once again and thank the organizers for inviting us to join in. And a huge thank you to our team of volunteers. It was great hanging out together and enjoying such a wonderful afternoon. The GETT event really is a wonderful reminder of the talent and eagerness to learn of these young ladies. I hope many of them will discover a passion for science and technology. Perhaps one day we’ll see them choose a career in life sciences.

To see photos and videos from this year’s event, check out #GETT2018 on Twitter.

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