Wisconsin And Hawaii Wit Partnership To Encourage Women And Girls In Rural Areas To Pursue Stem Fields
2006 Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings
XXX in Milwaukee, Wis., is spearheading a new partnership with Hawaii's XXXX to encourage women and girls living in rural areas to enter into science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. The partnership's mission is to: • Ensure that women and girls, especially in rural areas, have more opportunities to be engaged in STEM careers. • Develop program models that can be adopted in the future by local organizations and institutions The Wisconsin and Hawaii Women in Technology projects
... chnology projects are funded in part by the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Hawaii and Wisconsin are the only states that are involved in this program thus far. Partnerships with industry, educational institutions, government agencies and youth-serving organizations are a key strategy for the WIT program. Other factors include proven outreach programs such as job shadowing, career days, science camps, and mentoring, along with apprenticeships and training designed to engage female students from middle school through college. Mentoring has been identified as the most successful engagement strategy. WIT successfully negotiated with MentorNet, a Presidential award-winning online mentoring program that links undergraduate and graduate students with professionals in industry, government and high education. Through a WIT grant, students enrolled in Wisconsin universities will be able to participate in a proven, supportive, and effective retention program. Through gender equity workshops, WIT offers tools to educators and industry to overcome the barriers that have created the chilly climate for women. The WIT project provides ongoing technical assistance to educators, guidance counselors, and industry partners on recruitment and retention skills to overcome these societal barriers. The flagship Women in Technology Project was launched in 2000 by the XXXXX in Hawaii to help educate, support and retain local women as part of the STEM workforce. In Wisconsin, the WIT program is administered by XXXX. This paper will describe the forming of the partnership and sharing of best practices between the two states.