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Still photo from Microsoft's "Change the Odds" video encouraging girls to pursue STEM in college

This International Women’s Day we are challenging girls to change the world and stay in STEM

A new Microsoft campaign launches today and aims to inspire and influence girls who are passionate about a variety of problems, from climate change to the extinction of animals, by urging them to continue their studies of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through college.

To celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, we asked girls what they wanted to change in the world.

“This year, girls and their parents are probably more aware of the importance of STEM, but we wanted to connect this with their desire to change the world and have meaningful impact in the future,” says Kathleen Hall, corporate vice president of Microsoft Brand, Advertising and Research. “In order to get to where many of them want to go and achieve the change they want to see in the world, a STEM education is critical.”

That’s why it was important to show STEM to the girls in the video “in a new, multi-dimensional and visual way,” Hall says. “STEM is not all equations and calculators; it’s visceral and meaningful and can be brought to life in new ways that truly makes girls feel unstoppable and encourages them to be the ones to change the world, when they stay in STEM.”

Microsoft, which has long supported STEM education for girls, and last year started the Make What’s Next Patent Program, will in partnership with National Geographic, host a Make What’s Next Day on March 18 at select Microsoft Stores. At this event, guests can meet with National Geographic personalities from related fields and hear how they are changing the world. Parts of the event will also be streamed live by National Geographic.

Mary Snapp, corporate vice president of Microsoft Philanthropies, also reaffirmed Microsoft’s commitment to empowering girls to pursue STEM and other efforts to close the gender gap in her post on the Microsoft on the Issues blog.