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The First Team from Taiwan Takes Part in TechGirls in the U.S.

Representative Hsiao (4th from the left) with the TechGirls Taiwan team

Taiwan was invited to participate in TechGirls for the very first time this year. TechGirls is an exchange program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State. It’s for teenage girls aged between 15 and 17 who are very interested in attending university and then pursuing a career in STEM—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—fields. One of the aims of the TechGirls program is to encourage the participants to study and work in fields where women are currently underrepresented.

This summer, 111 young women from 35 countries or territories, and 25 from the US, took part. Among them were three senior high school students from Taiwan with both outstanding STEM skills and excellent English. They were selected from more than 400 applicants to travel to the United States to participate in the 4-week TechGirls program.

The program included a range of skill-development workshops and training, a 10-day Tech Camp at the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity at Virginia Tech, visits to a number of technology companies and cultural visits. At the Tech Camp the participants had opportunities to learn about cutting-edge technologies. They could choose between classes in Exploring Rivers, Python coding, microprocessors, or data analysis and 3D modelling. The team from each country or territory also began working on community projects to implement when they returned home.

Hsiao Bi-Khim, Representative at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office, hosted a dinner for the Taiwan team on July 28 at the Twin Oaks Estate. She encouraged them to continue pursuing STEM education in preparation for their careers.

The Taiwan team greatly enjoyed the TechGirls program and the friendships they made during their stay in the US. They will be mentored by Dr. Anita Hu of National Tsing Hua University, who works at the MEDIATEK-NTHU Research Center, when they follow up their visit to the US with their community projects in Taiwan. They will also become ambassadors for next year’s TechGirls program.