What do you get when you match teenage girls with computers? More than some would think.

“There is a stigma that women are less qualified to be in technological fields than men and their capabilities are not as equal, and that’s not true, they are the same,” says Marina, a teenager from Lebanon who visited the United States as part of the Tech Girls initiative.

“We noticed that there are more boys than girls involved in technology, and that should change,” she said.

(Flickr / Tech Girls; State Dept.)

Tech Girls is a State Department program that brings teenage girls from the Middle East and North Africa to the United States for three weeks to learn together — and from each other — about technology.

Rasha Khateeb, a 2015 participant in Tech Girls, created this GIF of fellow participants having fun. (Courtesy photo)

During their time in the U.S., the girls met with American counterparts interested in technology, visited university labs to learn about new developments like 3-D printing, and shadowed employees at Yahoo, Facebook and other companies. The program’s highlight was a 50-hour technology camp where the girls learned the technical skills that helped them finalize their Tech Girls projects and continue their studies or careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

(Flickr / Tech Girls; State Dept.)

The girls enjoyed a true bonding experience and agreed to keep the network strong by continuing to connect with each other and with former Tech Girls alumni back home.

Asar, a participant from the Palestinian Territories, said STEM “is the field that will color tomorrow with its paint.” Help paint the future: Start interning at a tech company, earn a science degree, or join the community of people learning to code!