Many of us have heard the stats. Women make up half of the total U.S. college-educated workforce, yet only 29% of the science and engineering workforce.
GE Girls is a summer camp program designed to address these numbers by encouraging girls to explore the world of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), and STEM-based careers. Since its inception at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2011, GE Girls has reached thousands of girls at more than twenty locations around the world who will continue to explore STEM and engage with the program throughout their high school years.
GE Girls’ STEM Summer is already well underway. Check out some of the fun highlights!
Atlanta, Georgia and Greenville, South Carolina
GE Power hosted 27 middle school students in Atlanta and 30 girls at Clemson University. Throughout the week, the girls learned about chemistry, design, electronics, robotics and energy through hands-on learning opportunities with fuel cell cars, strawberry DNA extraction, LEGOs robotics and circuits. They also emphasized soft skills, such as communication, collaboration and problem-solving.
Quertaro and Mexico City, Mexico
So, what are participants saying about their GE Girls experience?
“I never would have thought that I’d be interested in engineering, but after GE Girls, my expectations changed!”
“We’re young and we can start making a change in ourselves, in our mentality.”
More than 220 junior high school students participated in camps held in Ouertaro and Mexico City, Mexico. The students learned how to control entrances and exits of a smart house, build their own bubble machine using simple electronics, and a mechanism to produce electric power through wind energy.
GE Healthcare challenged the campers in Milwaukee to a “dog origami manufacturing” competition to replicate the importance of high quality and on-time delivery to the customer. They learned faster is not always better. You need the right tools to succeed and teamwork is more effective than individual output.
More than 50 seventh to tenth grade girls convened on Capitol Hill to hear from inspiring leaders in STEM, including Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, Co-Chair of the STEAM Caucus; Dr. Ellen Stofan, PhD, Director of the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum and Former Chief Scientist at NASA; Dr. Njema Frazier, PhD, Physicist, National Nuclear Security Administration, Department of Energy and National Advisory Board Member of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE); and Aisha Bowe, Founder & CEO, STEMBoard and Former Aerspace Engineer at NASA. They shared their stories and encouraged the girls to dream big.
This year, the Colorado program brought together 50 Denver-area junior high school girls for the second-year of GE Girls program hosted at Colorado School of Mines. This year’s program featured two new activities for campers – the STEM Fair and Alumni Day. On Alumni Day, nearly half of the campers from last year’s event were back on campus for a day of fun new STEM activities. The STEM Fair gave current campers and alumni the opportunity to engage with representatives from a wide array of STEM fields to talk about education, career paths and potential jobs within their industries.