Spotlight: Inspirational women making history at HTHH

High-Tech High Heels would like to take a moment to highlight
some of our very own {S}HEROES. We are fortunate to be
surrounded by so many wonder women making history at
HTHH, and we picked three of them with unbelievable stories
that are sure to inspire you to go out and make history, too!



Not only is Wanda Gass one of High-Tech High Heels’ revered founders, but she is also the co-inventor of the initial Texas Instruments Digital Signal Processing product.  This became TI’s digital flagship product in the 1990s & 2000s and drove the conversion from analog to digital for media and communications.  Ms. Gass is a trailblazer for women in STEM and made history in 1999 when she and Duy-Loan Lee were the first women promoted to TI Fellows. In 2007, she was elevated to IEEE Fellow for her contributions in VLSI signal processing
architectures and circuits. To pave the way for girls of generations to come, Gass founded Design Connect Create in 2014 to deliver Physics Camps programming to help young women be successful in STEM classes.




Kacie is one of the most recently elected High-Tech High Heels Texas board members, following years volunteering on the HTHH communications and Friendraiser committees.  After graduating from Texas Tech and interning at Southwest Airlines, Kacie began her career at Texas Instruments as a business analyst. Since 2015, Kacie has worked in IT functions for Enterprise Applications, Demand Creation, and Supply Chain.  She also serves as President of the TI New Employee Initiative and donates numerous hours each week to leading her peers to foster a community of new TI employees. Even though Kacie has just recently begun her career, she is already making a mark and is inspiring people around her, both women and men,
through her professionalism and dedication.




Sandra attended a High-Tech High Heels funded Design Connect Create Physics camp a few summers ago (if you think this sounds familiar, you’re right! This is Wanda Gass’
organization referenced above.)
Sandra has worked extremely hard in her STEM courses, and in May 2019, she will make history by being the first in her family to EVER graduate from high school. But that’s
not even the best part!! Sandra was recently accepted into Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and will be the first in her family to attend college.

Interested IN HELPING High-Tech High Heels empower more women?

2016 Physics Camp Registration Deadline Coming Soon

Hurry and register for the Design Connect Create! 2016 summer physics camps for young women.

After serving more than 900 young women from 2003 through 2014, the AP Physics Camp program launched by High-Tech High Heels formally transitioned to the Design Connect Create! 501(c)(3) organization last year.

DCC’s charter is to close the gender gap in STEM by empowering young women to excel in AP Physics. In 2015 they reached almost 300 students through their summer camp program. This program is critical because high school physics is the place where most women opt out of STEM fields, just at the time when they are choosing a college and a degree plan.

How to register

Rising 9th-12th graders who plan to take their first physics course in the fall can register for this immersive hands-on experience to explore and have fun with physics. Students form a deep understanding and build confidence to move forward and persist in STEM. The camps deliver action-packed days filled with labs, female guest speakers, interactive problem solving, field trips and engineering challenges.

Sign up for a 2016 camp

Watch a video to see what camp is like





HTHH is Making an Impact

Did you know U.S. women are earning fewer degrees in STEM fields today than they were a decade ago? According to this Washington Post article, bachelor’s degrees earned by women have declined in every category—from engineering to mathematics to computer sciences.

Photo credit: Washington Post
Photo credit: Washington Post

These statistics are unacceptable by any standard. High-Tech High Heels is committed to changing the trend, and the high-quality programs we fund are making a measurable impact to close the gender gap in STEM fields.

For example: since 2001, 996 girls have attended the Physics Camp delivered by our partner Design Connect Create!. Based on a 2006 Dallas ISD cohort, girls who attended Physics Camp were 2.6x more likely to earn a STEM degree and 5x more likely to earn an engineering degree than non-campers. Our support allows DCC to continue scaling the camp to allow more girls to attend.

Another example is how National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE) is improving STEM gender equity among educators. NAPE’s programs build awareness and enhance skills in equity training, as well as dispel stereotypes about STEM careers. Since 2001, 767 STEM teachers have attended gender equity training, and 940 counselors have attended workshops on STEM careers in DFW. NAPE has reached about 40,000 students annually. Here is a recent video that shows NAPE’s impact.

Since High-Tech High Heels was founded, we have granted more than $410,000 to programs that further our mission. In 2015, in addition to funding our core programs, we funded exciting new programs to increase our impact. 2015 was our highest granting year to date, yet we still have more to do.

Your donations enable us to provide grants to more organizations and programs that close the gender gap in STEM. By introducing your colleagues, family and friends to High-Tech High Heels, you educate others about the reality of the gender gap and empower them to make a difference. Together, let’s change the statistics.

Meet the Thunder Chicks

With a grant from High-Tech High Heels, the Young Women’s Preparatory Network created the first robotics club at the Irma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School and the “Thunder Chicks” were born!

Tthunderchickshe team includes girls who have previous experience with robotics as well as some who do not. They were the only all-girl team at their first competitions. They placed in the top 10 teams and had the second highest point scoring team in a tournament in January. They were also only one of three teams nominated for the Think Award, which considers not only the performance of the robot, but also the team’s collaboration, communication and project documentation.

Irma Rangel is a Dallas public school emphasizing mathematics, science and technology in a rigorous academic environment. More than 75% of its students are from economically disadvantaged homes and 85% will be first-generation college students.

All of the girls on the team plan to go to college. Their aspirations range from computer science and engineering to  computer animation, patent law and business.

Well done, Thunder Chicks!