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Oakridge US Students Helping to Close Gap Between Young Women, Men Studying in STEM Fields
Posted 05/03/2019 10:54AM

Oakridge juniors Annemarie Roos and Hannah Didehbani will make the gap between young men and women studying in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields a little closer this summer when they participate in highly selective STEM programs at two different colleges. 

Oakridge juniors Roos (left) and Didehbani (right).

Annemarie is one of just 32 students chosen to attend Artificial Intelligence for All (AI4ALL) SummerUp Camp at Arizona State University (ASU).

AI4ALL promotes greater diversity and inclusion in the field of Artificial Intelligence. During the three-week program, participants will explore AI through projects creation, industry field trips, and presentations from guest speakers. AI4ALL will conclude with a small group research project and a presentation for friends and family. 

ASU AI4ALL is one of ten AI4ALL programs across North America dedicated to educating the next generation of AI thinkers and creating a diverse AI workforce.

"This is an incredible accomplishment for two outstanding students," said Melissa Triebwasser, who teaches Integrated Media and guided Annemarie's programming class at The Oakridge School. "Annemarie has the chance to deepen her understanding of a field she intends to pursue collegiately and her selection into this distinguished program speaks volumes about her work ethic, willingness to challenge herself, and opportunities she has been given to pursue STEM programs while attending Oakridge."

Hannah will participate in the Women's Technology Program (WTP) at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The four-week program, for which Hannah was awarded a full scholarship, focuses on computer science and engineering.

Female MIT graduate students design and teach the classes, and are assisted by female MIT undergraduate students who live in the dorm with the high school girls. The daily schedule includes classes, labs, homework, and social time with other WTP students.  

Wesley Irons, named a Fort Worth Magazine Top Teacher for 2018, teaches Calculus and Physics at Oakridge and called Hannah a remarkably gifted young woman. "This program is a great step toward her eventual success in science and engineering. I am extremely proud of Hannah's accomplishments and excited to see what her future holds."

Only 60 participants are selected for WTP from a nationwide applicant pool of the top female 11th grade math and science students. Program organizers say they received more than 700 applications last year and that they are looking for students who are not yet certain about their future college majors, and who would like to explore engineering and computer science to determine whether these fields might be of interest.

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