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Tech-savvy summit is Tuesday

Thursday, May 15, 2014 - Updated: 10:30 AM

The Amsterdam-Gloversville-Johnstown branch of the American Association of University Women will hold its annual tech-savvy summit for girls Tuesday, May 20, from 8:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Fulton-Montgomery Community College. This year, 178 girls and 22 advisers representing 14 school districts in Hamilton, Fulton and Montgomery counties have registered to attend.

This is the third year that the conference, previously the Sister to Sister Summit, will focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) workshops. This year's summit will provide hands-on experiences in a college environment to give girls the confidence and the motivation they need to take math, science and technology classes in school.

Those registered may pick up packets at the F-MCC student union lobby the day of the event between 8:15 and 8:40 a.m. Breakfast snacks will be provided in the dining area. The three workshop sessions will take place in the classroom building, library and theater area. Lunch will be served in the dining area from 11:55 a.m. to 12:25 p.m. followed by the main speaker from 12:30 to 1:15 p.m. in the theater. The conference will end at 1:30 p.m. Students do not need to bring food or money to the summit.

Girls registered will attend three workshops during the day. Fourteen workshops are being offered this year. Choices include: robotics, nonotechnology, exploring physics, chemistry experiments, stage craft technology, medical diagnosing, designing homes and landscapes with Legos, using science to solve crimes, making videos, hands-on engineering, making lip balm, using computers to save time and money, learning where jobs come from and practicing how to write about yourself for college applications and jobs resumes.

Members of the F-MCC faculty, staff and former F-MCC students have volunteered to facilitate the workshops. They are: Laurie Luzinski, Ruth Crammond-Scott, Julie Mihalcik, Charlene Dybas, Sonnet Gravina, Jason Radalin, Jeremy Spraggs, Sherry Warner, Karlyn LaBate, Audrey Eggleston, Steve Astmann, Gilbert Ayuk, Mary Donohue, John Kohn, Herb Kempf, Dan Hornbeck and Chris Pabis. In addition, Rebecca Cortez, instructor at Union College, will facilitate a workshop on engineering.

The keynote speaker will be electrical engineer Elizabeth Serena Pynadath Bentley. Bentley graduated from Johnstown High School, received her bachelor of science in electrical engineering from Cornell University, her master of science in electrical engineering from Lehigh University, and her doctor of philosophy in electrical engineering from the University at Buffalo. She worked one year as a National Research Council post-doctorate research associate at the Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome, Oneida County. She has been working as an electrical engineer at AFRL for the past five years, researching dynamic wireless networking for video communications. Bentley's presentation, "You're Not the Boss of Me: I Do Research," will focus on the perks of having a research position and being able to do whatever you want.

This year, there will also be a program for adults in attendance regarding the new Pathways Through Technology (PTECH) program. Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery BOCES designed the program for incoming freshmen who want to graduate from high school with an associate's degree in a technology-based field. In partnership with F-MCC the program will kick off in May and continue through the 2014-15 school year at participating districts. H-F-M BOCES principal Michael Dardaris who spearheaded the program will speak at 10 a.m. in room C-110.

This year's summit committee includes AAUW members Linda Bumpus, Darcelle Winchell, Liz Russo, Linda Hammond, Paula Lerner, Ginni Mazur, Holly Rigos, Anya Biel, Jeremy Spraggs, and Anne Campos. For more information contact Linda Bumpus at 725-1927.


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