TEP employees aspired to inspire Tucson-area high school girls to pursue career pathways and STEM degrees as part of the SheTech Explorer Day.

Ana Bustamante, TEP Senior Director of Transmission and Distribution Engineering, delivered  introductory remarks for the March 4 event at the University of Arizona Tech Park, speaking about her experiences growing up in Nogales, Ariz.

Bustamante was always interested in math and pursued opportunities to learn more about the subject in high school summer programs and, later, in college. While at Arizona State University, Bustamante switched from a math program to engineering, which was a struggle until she found a support group.

“My friends and support group pushed me to do things I thought I was incapable of doing,” Bustamante stated in her speech.

A total of 144 girls from 23 schools attended the event, which was hosted by the Women Tech Council and the City of Tucson Office of Economic Initiatives. The daylong, industry‐led exploration event provided hands‐on, interactive activities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Students were asked to solve a real-life problem in a group setting. Each group was tasked with finding a conceptual solution to an environmental and transportation challenge. During the TechChallenge, the girls brainstormed ideas, refined and evaluated solutions and pitched their ideas to the larger group.

Bustamante was joined at the event by other TEP employees who staffed an exhibitor table at the event to provide education and career information.

TEP was a sponsor of the event, one of the many ways that TEP supports education in the community, as well as career development.

(Photo: Camila Martins-Bekat of TEP joins students at a table during the SheTech event.)

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