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Girls from eighth grade through high school are invited to attend a free full-day event February 25 featuring various types of engineering, thanks to a student group in UT’s Tickle College of Engineering.

Little Systers, held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Min H. Kao Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Building,1520 Middle Drive, will introduce those students to electrical engineering, computer engineering, and computer science.

It’s all part of an effort to engage female students while they are still in high school and show them the possibilities available in those fields.

“Little Systers provides a resource for girls who may not have female role models in these types of career paths,” said Morgan Dyar, a senior majoring in electrical engineering. “That could lead them to believe that it is not a possibility for them to pursue those types of careers, so we want to be able to show them by example that that they can be successful as a woman in engineering.

“The goal of the event is that attendees will leave feeling empowered, knowing some of the job options with these degrees and that they could have a career in any of these fields.”

Dyar said that to reinforce the message, female leaders in those fields will be at the event.

Attendees will also receive a free copy of Stephanie Espy’s STEM Gems, which details the career paths of 44 women in STEM fields and includes steps girls can take to begin their own STEM journey.

The day will include a tour of the high tech facilities of the Center for Ultra-Wide-Area Resilient Electric Energy Transmission Networks, or CURENT.

CURENT, a research center backed by the National Science Foundation and the US Department of Energy, features a room-length screen with simulated real-time monitoring of the power grid, complete with control stations that allow students to make adjustments to the grid in various scenarios.

Students will be introduced to cyber security, another area of real-world importance to the nation, through leading cyber security firm Sword and Shield.

Other events during the day will include a workshop where students can build circuits, a demonstration of virtual reality programming, and a panel of UT students and people from industries who will answer the students’ questions.

The event is being held by Systers: Women in EECS, a student group founded in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science as a way to increase and encourage women in those fields.

“Once I became involved with Systers I started to feel more connected to the department as a whole and stopped feeling like I had to figure everything out by myself,” said Dyar. “I felt as if I had a support system around me.

“Whether through events like this or just on campus in general, Systers offers a great break from the stress of classes and gives you the opportunity to talk about your frustrations to someone who might be going through something similar.”

Due to limited seating during the programs, parents who accompany students are encouraged to wait in the Min Kao Building while students take part in the activities.

Free parking for the event is available in the 11th Street Garage at the corner of 11th Street and Cumberland Avenue.

Free lunch will be provided for all students who have preregistered.

For more information or to register, visit the group’s website.




David Goddard (865-974-0683,