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TI employees mentored Plano ISD students during a HiTECCC Physics Camp for Girls
TI employees mentored Plano ISD students during a Physics Camp for Girls.
The TI Foundation approved a $349,000 grant to the Caruth Institute of Engineering Education, part of the School of Engineering at Southern Methodist University, to support program management for the Women of TI Fund (WTIF) High-Tech High Heels programs in 2008, 2009, and 2010, and to fund the expansion of the Advanced Placement (AP) Physics Camps for Girls to the Plano Independent School District (Plano ISD) in 2009 and 2010.

The WTIF's High-Tech High Heels programs include gender equity teaching strategies for educators, counselor workshops on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers and physics camps for girls.

“This grant is indicative of Texas Instruments’ commitment to advancing the cause of women in engineering,” says Tammy Richards, Associate Dean at the SMU School of Engineering. “We share the same priorities at the SMU School of Engineering exemplified by our Gender Parity Initiative which seeks to bring enrollment at our school to 50 percent female in the near future. These funds for Texas Instruments allow our school to continue programs that reach young girls before they make decisions about their college major and show them how rewarding a career in engineering can be.”

WTIF history and focus
In 2001, several senior TI female executives pooled their resources and formed a donor-advised fund at the Dallas Women's Foundation to address the shortage of women engineers. The fund's mission is to increase the number of girls graduating from high school who are entering a university-level technical degree program. The strategy is to develop programs that increase participation and passing rates of female students in AP science and math exams.

"The fund enhances the quality, quantity, and diversity of tomorrow's engineering work force," said Wanda Gass, TI Fellow. "This grant will help us institutionalize our already very successful programs in 12 Dallas Independent School District schools, support pilot programs in Plano ISD, and eventually package the programs and deploy them to other districts. This is a clear indication that the TI Foundation recognizes the importance of developing and fostering programs that keep girls interested in STEM disciplines."

In addition to expanding the reach of the WTIF programs, the funds will also be used to create two-week summer physics camps for Plano ISD female students. This camp is already offered in Dallas ISD and includes labs, math and calculator exercises. The camp's primary goal is to develop the girls’ STEM skills to make them successful in pre-AP and AP physics courses.

"We will be offering the pre-AP physics camp in Plano ISD because we have found that if the girls are successful in the pre-AP physics class, they are more likely to sign up for the AP physics courses in their senior year," Gass added.

In addition to the summer camps, the fund offers workshops that provide continuing education to high-school educators and counselors. These professional development workshops offer interactive instruction focused on what is engineering, preparing for college engineering, opportunities in engineering and life as an engineer. The fund also offers gender equity training for educators about how their teaching styles affect girls in the classroom.

The Women of TI Fund at the Dallas Women's Foundation encourages and empowers girls to pursue STEM professions. For additional information about the Women of TI Fund programs, visit Women of TI Fund.


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