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Local teens experience technology camp

A couple area girls got to be a part of Microsoft's DigiGirlz technology day camp last month.

Cecilia Erholtz, 14, and Jasmine Skarie attended the camp at the Fargo Microsoft campus. The camp, which is for girls in grades eight through 10, introduces them to business leaders and technology.

Erholtz, who will be a ninth grader this fall at Frazee-Vergas School, said she heard about the camp from a friend.

"I like to learn about computers. I'm not a big nerd, but I like computers," she said.

Some of the people the girls got to meet and hear speak included Mikey Hoeven, first lady of North Dakota, Lisa Brummell, Microsoft senior vice president of human resources, Tami Reller, Microsoft Business Solutions corporate vice president, Doug Burgum, Microsoft Business Solutions senior vice president, and Aura Lee Lunde, Family Career and Community Leaders of America Inc. national vice president of public relations.

Erholtz said besides the listening, there was also plenty of hands-on training as well. The students got to take apart computers, build a Web page, job shadow and design a technology piece and then present it like they would have to in the business world.

"It was really useful. Really cool and fun," she said.

Her favorite part was programming computers.

"It was really tough and hard, but in the end..." they had accomplished the feat of programming their own computer.

The camp brought 100 girls from Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota to Microsoft.

Leaders said that DigiGirlz exists to "educate and inspire high-school girls by introducing them to the vast opportunities and career choices available to them in the high-tech industry."