NWA Festival Draws Tech Devlopers, Students

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM)-- The Northwest Arkansas Tech Festival drew developers and students Thursday (May 18) with the hopes of bringing more attention to STEM careers.

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math.

Sarah Daigle, the event chair, said all students were allowed in for free.

She has a background in education and said it was good to see so many students wanting to attend.

“I see that they want it and so getting exposed about what we’re actually doing here and what are some career paths," Daigle said.

Many of those students listened to the various speakers at the event including keynote speaker Brigadier General Tamhra Hutchins-Frye with the Air National Guard.

Hutchins-Frye said the military needs to be up to date with the latest trends in technology.

She said the state has even passed legislation to help guardsmen go to college to learn more about the newest technology.

Hutchins-Frye said Arkansas is lucky to have leaders who advocate for tech growth.

“You don’t see that in all parts of the country," Hutchins-Frye said. "I know, I was in a different state and the people in that part of the country are not for technology. They actually do protests and stuff. So we are very blessed in Arkansas that they are very proud of the military and also that our corporations really embrace it.”

One of the biggest worries Daigle said exists now in the tech field is cyber security.

She explained many businesses and individuals are now worried to even go online, but said that is where those in the tech business can help.

They planned to do this by simply talking with people to pass on good information and tips.

On top of advocating for STEM careers, Daigle said all proceeds made at the event will go to the Fayetteville Boys and Girls Club computer lab.

She said the upgrades they make will help teach kids new skills like coding and flying drones.

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