Cairo — SOME 52 school girls from North Africa are in the United States to participate in the US Department of State's TechGirls exchange programme.
They joined their peers from Middle East and Central Asia in Washington for the initiative that aims to empower girls in the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) fields.
The exchange programme encourages girls to pursue higher education and careers through hands-on skills development training with American technology leaders.
Some 52 girls are participating.
Launched in 2012, this four-week program Central Asia was added to the program for the first time this year, expanding on the programme's mission to provide more opportunities for girls to improve their STEM skills and positively impact their communities.
The TechGirls exchange strengthens American national and economic security by empowering girls with the technical skills and strategic relationships to lead in a global economy.
The programme's centerpiece will be a 12-day Java coding camp with American peers at Virginia Tech's interactive labs in Blacksburg, Virginia.
The TechGirls participants will also visit the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland and experience life with an American family for a weekend in southern Virginia.
Public and private sector organizations will mentor the TechGirls.
TechGirls exchange alumnae, now totaling 186, have trained more than 3,500 peers in their home countries and have pursued studies at leading institutions around the world.