ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – Coding, graphic design, computer programming—Those are are just a few things girls as young as seven years old are learning at Dixie State University.
While Taylor Swift played overhead, the girls created their masterpieces.
“Soldering materials together so they stick, so you have a full circuit. So right now, I’m doing a DIY gamer,” said 13-year-old Emi Larsen.
Emi Larsen has come all the way from Tucson Arizona, along with her 8year old sister Ella, for the Girls Go Digital Program in St. George.
The program was started by Dixie State Professor Rachel Ramsay four years ago with only 6 girls participating, but the program has grown to over 600 girls in seven locations across the state.
“I started to research and found that there were was a problem with the gender gap in women in technology and computer science,” said Rachel Ramsay, Girls Go Digital Founder.
With over over 13,000 open tech jobs within 300 miles of St. George, Dixie State University’s President believes this program is vital.
“A lot of the students aren’t prepared to go into those fields, they’re discovering them, and we wanted to do things earlier in their youth to say: “You know, tech is fun, It’s exciting,” said President Richard B. Williams.
Larsen said she now wants to get her tech degree at Dixie State.
Emi Larsen, 14 years old, Girls Go Digital Participant
“Like before this, I’m like: I’m going to be the newest Hannah Montana, because she was like my idol when I was little. Now, I’m totally like: I’m going to be a computer programmer,” said Larsen.