When Angela Trego read a feedback survey where a girl admitted she didn’t know she could do things in science, technology, engineering and math until she attended SheTech Explorer Day, she knew the event was doing what it was meant to.

“We want girls to come and do this and create a wow factor,” said Trego, assistant professor of technology management at Utah Valley University and part of the leadership for the Women Tech Council. “They come and do this and say, this is fun and I can do it.”

Around 1,200 high school girls from 121 schools across the state, including as far away as Monument Valley, registered for SheTech Explorer Day, held Friday at the UCCU Center. The event started with 300 girls three years ago, and has since maxed out the UCCU Center.

 The event gives the girls an opportunity to choose from more than 30 different workshops, including ones where they could build their own rockets, learn how to code or program a jetpack, included a challenge event and gave girls the opportunity to interact with successful women with STEM careers. In the TechZone,the girls could interact with different STEM organizations and do things like virtually paint, doodle with a 3-D pen or create smoke rings.

“I feel like a lot of the time we’re seen as dumb in science and math, but I’m pretty successful in those areas, so it’s just kind of hard for people to put that label on me,” said Ashlinn Neff, a 17-year-old who attends Northridge High School in Layton. “It’s funny because in my math classes, most of the times the boys are the ones that are confused and the girls are the ones that do our homework and know what is going on.”

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By Braley Dodson, Daily Herald