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Microsoft in your community

STEM sparks technology curiosity in Blue Ridge, Virginia

In the datacenter community of Blue Ridge, Virginia, middle school girls are benefiting from the presence of community partners with a passion for science technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and related careers.

Events held in schools around the area provide a variety of sessions that show students how available and exciting technology can be. Women leaders at Microsoft share their personal career paths, learnings, and empowerment stories with middle school girls to encourage the next generation of women in STEM. During hands-on labs, the students engage with Cat 5 cables, IR sensors, circuits, and more to fuel their curiosity for technology.

Sessions are designed to promote diversity and diverse career paths within the professional fields of STEM. According to STEMFuture, of the 74% of girls in middle schools across the United States who express interest in STEM topics, only 0.3% continue on with computer science in college. By providing young minds with increased access and information, these events are opening the door to a wider variety of opportunities for more students.

For more than four years, Microsoft and their employee volunteers have been active in the Blue Ridge community. Future events include “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day” at Harper Park Middle School and “Introduce a Community to STEM” with Loudoun Freedom Center and NoVA Datacenter Academy.

After every school visit, Microsoft employees are delighted to hear students ask “When can you come back?”