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An Evening of Networking with Girls in Technology

By Nicole Weatherholtz

Kashmir World Foundation joined Girls in Technology (GIT) for a dynamic evening of networking and interactive discussions between girls and professional women in the science, technology, math, and engineering (STEM) fields at the Women in Military for America Memorial in Arlington, Virginia on October 6, 2016. Girls in Technology is led by a committee of Women in Technology members and offers educational and hands-on STEM programs that promote creativity and innovation, and inspire girls to pursue STEM-related careers. GIT programs reach over 500 girls in the DC metropolitan area, and help girls identify pathways to careers in STEM through engagement with women executives in STEM-related fields and STEM experiences provided by companies in Washington DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. Girls in Technology programs are made possible through Women in Technology, STEM for Her, and the generosity of corporate sponsorships.

Nicole Weatherholtz and Danny Wanna of Kashmir World Foundation pose with MiSHELL: A Fully Autonomous Sea Turtle Drone at the Girls in Technology Event on October 6, 2016.

Ronni McTier, Energy Efficiency Manager of ICF International and one of the panel speakers of the evening, stops to learn about Kashmir World Foundation’s latest drone: MiSHELL.

Guests learning about how drones can assist wildlife conservation efforts with Danny Wanna of Kashmir World Foundation.

Princess Aliyah Pandolfi explains how MiSHELL is used for sea turtle conservation to a young guest and her mother.

Girls from grades 6 through 12 attended the event with their families. Guests in attendance also included program speakers, mentors and committee members who volunteered their time to make a difference in the lives of our future generation of women. During the event, which was sponsored by SAIC and STEM for Her, girls had the opportunity to meet and network with professional women in STEM related fields. The girls also had an opportunity to experience product demo exhibits across the STEM disciplines. Some exhibitors at the event included OmniEarth, First Robotics, Kashmir World Foundation, Miner & Kasch Data Science, and The MITRE Corporation.

Danna Wanna and Nicole Weatherholtz explain The DaVinci Challenge Workshop and Kashmir World Foundation’s wildlife conservation projects.

Girls also participated in an interactive panel discussion on STEM with female professionals. The four panel speakers included Sajni Vederey, 16 year old Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology student, who founded STEM All Stars, an international, nonprofit organization committed to inspiring girls to enter STEM majors and fields and empowering girls to be future global leaders. Princess Aliyah Pandolfi spoke of how she founded Kashmir World Foundation to provide a pathway into a world where people learn and collaborate globally to improve the world. Linda Howard, Senior Vice President and Deputy Chief Information Officer of SAIC, discussed how obstacles she encountered throughout her young professional career led to a position in which she is responsible for all operational, technical and strategic direction of the corporate provided information technology services for SAIC. Ronni McTier, Energy Efficiency Manager of ICF International, told the audience of how she became inspired to work for a major company that provides a platform or industrial companies to reduce their energy consumption in the state of Maryland. Her efforts help reduce the carbon footprint, which helps to maintain a cleaner, greener environment. Panel speakers created laughter, intrigue, and many questions from the audience. Door prizes were given at the end of the event, including a certificate for a DaVinci Challenge flight lesson from Kashmir World Foundation. Girls who attended the event inspired even their mature professional counterparts with their enthusiasm and passion for STEM. Kashmir World Foundation looks forward to attending Girls in Technology’s next event on November 10, 2016 at VISA in Ashburn, Virginia.

Panel speakers Sajni Vederey, Ronni McTier, Princess Aliyah Pandolfi, and Linda Howard tell the audience how STEM has inspired each of them.

Kashmir World Foundation team members Nicole Weatherholtz, Princess Aliyah Pandolfi, and Danny Wanna at the Girls in Technology event.

Princess Aliyah Pandolfi with the winner of the DaVinci Challenge Flight Lesson.

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