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HCC President Anita T. Gliniecki (left) introduced Connecticut Comptroller Nancy Wyman (right) to the 100 seventh grade girls who attended HCC's Girls and Technology Expo.

President Gliniecki and Comptroller Nancy WymanMarch 23, 2007

BRIDGEPORT – “This was really cool,” said seventh grader Toni Fawale of Bridgeport’s Multicultural Magnet School. “It inspires girls to be what they can be and do what they can do.”

“We learned what women can do,” said her friend and classmate Stephanie Bastidas. “On television, all you see is guys.”

Fawale and Bastidas are sharing their reaction to the sixth annual Girls & Technology Exposition held March 20 at Housatonic Community College. They were two of some 100 Seventh grade girls from across Central and Western Connecticut who attended the event.

HCC President Anita Gliniecki set the stage for the expo when she explained to students how pervasive the use of technology is. She noted that “there is a phenomenal number of positions requiring knowledge of science in technology” and encouraged students to take a close look at those represented at the expo and ask themselves, “Is this something I want to do?”

She cautioned students that their ultimate career may not be represented at the college. That’s because the field of technology is changing so rapidly that many of tomorrow’s careers are just someone’s ideas today, she said.

Connecticut State Comptroller Nancy Wyman, who delivered the keynote address, set the stage for the event when she told the students that Connecticut is one state “where the doors are open to women.” But it's education and technology that open those doors.

“Technology brings you into just about every area possible,” she said.

But, she said, “You can’t do anything today without an education.”

Careers in technology are lucrative, she said. When she noted that computer consultants hired by the state made $225,000, there were gasps of surprise from the students.

The students attended workshops such as deconstructing a computer, web design, “the mystery of DNA” and gunshot residue and light source for evidence collection.

It was the latter that made an impression on Eugenia Kim of Middletown. “It was really interesting to see how they use technology to catch criminals – what goes on behind the scenes with computers and technology.”

For student Alexis Ellis of Fairfield, the DNA workshop got high marks. “I’m interested in graphic design, but I like science and biology,” she said. “It’s interesting how computers can be used to track down viruses.”

In addition to the workshops, students visited exhibits drawn from technology-based fields. Exhibitors included Alloy Engineering Company; Beardsley Zoo; Bridgeport Public Library; Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles, Commercial Vehicle Safety Division; Connecticut State Police; Discovery Museum; Housatonic Community College, Continuing Education Division; Pfizer Inc. – Global Research and Development; Prospect Machine; Schwerdtle Stamp Company; Sikorsky Aircraft; and Trumpf Laser.

Students from Bridgeport, Fairfield, Shelton, Stamford and Middletown attended the event.

For Fawale, who wants to be a nurse, the session was eye-opening. “One thing I learned today was how technology is used in nursing,” she said. “I liked it a lot.”

Hi resolution images are available, email Anson Smith  

Student Chantel Collazo of Bridgeport experiments with deconstructing a computer in a workshop of the same name. Collazo was one of 100 seventh-grade girls from Central and Western Connecticut who attended the Girls and Technology Expo event March 20 at HCC

Bridgeport students Toni Fawale (left) and Stephanie Bastidas conduct an experiment in which DNA is inserted in gels to identify specific genes or mutations. The experiment was conducted in the "Mystery of DNA" workshop at the Girls and Technology Expo event March 20 at the college.

Student Tiffany Kalaya of Bridgeport completes a fingerprinting exercise during the "Gunshot Residue and Light Source for Evidence Collection" Workshop March 20 at the HCC Girls and Technology Expo.

Students Eugenia Kim of Middletown and Alexis Ellis of Fairfield confer about exhibits at the 6th Annual Girls and Technology Expo event March 20 at HCC.