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June 12, 2014 — Rock Springs’ Taylor Joan Mehle is one of two female Wyoming high school students who were named winners of the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) Award for Aspirations in Computing.
The Wyoming Affiliate Competition winners were recognized during a luncheon at the University of Wyoming’s Women in Science Conference last month.
UW and Western Wyoming Community College (WWCC), affiliates of the NCWIT awards, selected two winners from across Wyoming. Winners were chosen based on their computing-related achievements and interests, solid leadership ability, good academic history and plans for post-secondary education.
“I appreciate being recognized with this award,” says Mehle, who just finished her junior year at Rock Springs High School. “I am interested in pursuing a career in biomedical engineering with a focus on research and development of new medical procedures in the areas of pediatrics.
“I feel, with my current and previous involvement in the science and mathematical community -- through high school and college classes and camps -- I have developed a strong foundation to be successful in college and in reaching my career goal.”
Mehle is involved with her high school’s robotics class and is representing Rock Springs at Girls’ State this month. She has participated in multiple science and math camps and competitions, including the Wolsborn-Drazovich State Math competition, where she placed in the top 10 of her class and placed second in the STEM Structural Building Competition. Mehle also helped to test and create games in the Scalable Game Design program that is used in computer classes locally.
The other Wyoming Affiliate Competition winner is Moriah Miller of Powell High School.
NCWIT is a nonprofit community of more than 300 prominent corporations, academic institutions, government agencies and nonprofits that work to increase women’s participation in technology and computing. Microsoft and Motorola Solutions Foundation were other award sponsors.
The awards for each winner include a trophy, swag bag, flash drive and a gift card, according to Carla Hester-Croff, associate professor of information technology at WWCC.
“Encouraging young women’s interest in technology careers is critical: Our workforce needs their creativity and their innovation,” says Lucy Sanders, CEO and co-founder of NCWIT.
The Women in Science Conference is designed to raise young women’s (grades 7-12) interest and excitement in science, technology, math and engineering (STEM) -- career fields typically dominated by men. Accomplished professional women discuss their experiences in these fields.
The conference is hosted by the Wyoming NASA Space Grant Consortium, which sponsors education and research programs in the state of Wyoming to support NASA goals. One of the goals of NASA and UW is to get more women and ethnic minorities involved in educational programs.
For more information about the Women in Science Conference, contact Michele Turner, program coordinator, Wyoming NASA Space Grant Consortium, at (307) 766-2862 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Taylor Joan Mehle, a junior at Rock Springs High School, is one of two recipients from Wyoming to receive the NCWIT Computing Award.