Welcome to the third Launch(ed) Women in Technology conference! I am pleased to have you join us for an evening of hands-on interactions with innovative tech products, and to connect all of you young women with professionals who will introduce you to various opportunities for future careers in the STEM disciplines.
All of the people who are participating in the event today know how important it is to introduce these opportunities to middle schoolers. The more you know now about the tools, the way things work, and what’s new and cool, the more likely it is that you’ll keep wanting to learn about tech and science – and have fun doing it! – throughout high school and into college.
We all hope you leave here inspired and empowered after learning how robots are built, experiencing a virtual reality flight simulator, seeing innovative products, in action, participating in a group challenge, and connecting with professionals from a variety of career paths. And parents, we hope you get excited and inspired too. Research tells us that your support is the single most important factor in a young person’s success in STEM fields, for all our kids but especially for our daughters.
And, you’ll be happy to know that according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, STEM wages are 71 percent higher than the national average. It’s an exciting time in Indiana as our school districts, universities, and state leaders direct more resources to respond to the future needs of business and industry. After all, young people’s participation in STEM education teaches them the skills needed for tomorrow’s workforce.
We look forward to hearing from Drew Jarvis who is a sophomore at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. She will share with us how her love for the arts and business led to innovation and a future career path. Additionally, a group of professionals will assist you young women in a group problem-solving challenge. Once the challenge has concluded, each group will be asked to share their creation.
I would like to give special thanks to the sponsors and supporters who made this event possible. I would also like to thank Launch Fishers Director John Wechsler for allowing us once again to host the event in this space. Launch Fishers has established itself as a leading advocate of bringing together entrepreneurs to connect and collaborate with like-minded individuals.
During our event, please be sure to follow us on Twitter @Launched_WiT and engage in the conversation using #LaunchedWiT. Again, thank you for being here for this special event.