WASHINGTON, D.C. /eNewsChannels/ — The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announced today that the inaugural group of TechGirls – an initiative that brings 25 teenage girls from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian Territories, Tunisia, and Yemen to the United States – will arrive June 25 in New York City for a three-week exchange.

As part of U.S. efforts to increase the number of girls and women entering the technology field, the TechGirls will engage with their American counterparts in the classroom and within the broader technology community as they learn how to harness their potential in the science and technology sectors through hands-on skill development, such as programming, robotics, mobile application building, web design, video graphics, and 3D game design. They will participate in Wonder-Space Tech Camp, which is an interactive technology and computer camp; meet with leading U.S. technology companies; and participate in community service activities.

TechGirls was first announced by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on July 6, 2011. It supports her efforts to place advancing the status of women and girls at the heart of U.S. foreign policy and builds on her vision of “smart power,” which embraces a full range of diplomatic tools – including technology – to foster greater understanding. TechGirls comes on the heels of the successful first year of TechWomen, a mentoring program that pairs international participants with American women leaders in the technology sector.

Working to ensure a diverse experience, the Department has teamed up with several private sector partners, including: Development Seed, the DC Digital Divas Dinner, Facebook, Frontline SMS, George Washington University Hospital, Google, iStrategy Labs, and the Youth & Media Lab at the Berkman Center for Internet at Harvard University. The State Department is also pleased to have the collaboration of the White House for our TechGirls program.