Women in Technology and Science (WITS)
VIRTUAL CONFERENCE 2021
Ohio University Lancaster
May 7, 2021
What is WITS?
For more than twenty-five years, Women in Technology and Science (WITS) Day has positively impacted girls ages 12-14 through a one-day, hands-on program designed for those interested in science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics as a career. Every other year, area schools send a teacher from their school along with a group of girls to Ohio University Lancaster. The day opens with a main speaker and a presentation about careers in STEM. Throughout the day, middle-school girls (and this year – boys as well) have an opportunity to attend sessions to hear presentations by and participate in interactive projects with female STEM professionals who represent a wide range of careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. The entire conference is offered at no cost to the students, nor to their schools.
WITS is a major bi-annual event sponsored by Ohio University Lancaster, the Ohio University Pickerington Center, and surrounding community businesses and organizations. The focus of the event is to increase girls’ interests in STEM careers.
How will WITS be DIFFERENT in 2021?
WITS 2021 will be a virtual event through Zoom and videos. The event is still free of charge for the schools and participants! This year, WITS will be offered to GIRLS and BOYS in middle school (grades 6-8). We will also be conducting a pilot study to offer WITS to GIRLS and BOYS in high school in Fairfield County only due to limited programming availability for that age group.
Why do we need WITS?
According to 2015 data put together by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, just under 30% of the world’s researchers are women; and the percentage of women researchers in the U.S. is just above 30%. A growing number of women are pursuing higher education, but many opt out at the highest levels required for a research career. The data points to a need to encourage girls to study science, technology, engineering and math at a young age.
The purpose of WITS is – through education, enlightenment, and inspiration – to encourage students to pursue an education in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. More than 350 students are exposed to advanced science from experts in their respective fields, such as chemistry, engineering, computer science, math, police science, medical technology, and veterinary medicine.
Who Attends WITS?
- 350+ attendees
- 20+ science educators or professors
- Entrepreneurs and science-industry leaders
- University faculty, staff, and students who serve as volunteers
Check out this video of WITS highlights!