Date: Friday, April 11, 2014

Time:‚  8 a.m. ‚¬ 2:15 p.m.

Where: Kingsport Center for Higher Education, 300 W. Market St.

Approximately 50 students from high schools in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia will participate in DigiGirlz Day, which will be jointly hosted by Eastman Chemical Company, Microsoft and Northeast State Community College.

The percentage of women in information technology occupations has declined dramatically in the past 20 years. In 1991, more than 35 percent of professionals in IT were women. By 2009, that percentage had dropped to 25 percent. Microsoft started DigiGirlz in 2000 to provide free technology programs and interactive experiences to young women around the world.

DigiGirlz Day participants will gather for a day of fun, hands-on IT education and discussions with IT professionals relating their own experiences and the careers available in IT. Speakers and potential media interview subjects will include:

Congressman Phil Roe, First Congressional District of Tennessee

Marlin Page, founder of Sisters Code, an IT group created to awaken the mature geek

Keith Sturgill, chief information officer, Eastman

Vir Bharagava, executive account manager, Microsoft

Karen Chastain, manager of productivity and team excellence for Eastman IT