From Wonder Woman to GE Girls, it is turning out to be the summer of girl power. GE Girls engages middle school students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to boost their interest in STEM at a critical time in their development – a time when girls often turn away from these subjects. It is a community service program with a long-term goal of filling the pipeline with diverse talent to address the growing demand for employees, particularly women, in STEM-related industries.
August 21 -25 GE Girls is being held with 25 young women in Madison, Wisconsin. This is the first time the GE Girls program has been held in that area of the state. It is hosted by the GE Women’s Network, and GE Healthcare in partnership with the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
“We want to empower girls to dream big and have no limits,” said Samantha Sweet, Co-Leader of GE Girls in Madison and Engineering Manager at GE Healthcare. “The future is STEM and young women need to be part of the current digital transformation using these critical skills they experience during GE Girls.”
The activities and curriculum during the week will include exploring engineering, electronic circuits, using 3D printing, learning to solder, visiting the GE facility to participate in Lean manufacturing and using chemistry know-how to create lip gloss. Soft skills, such as team building, leadership, communications, collaboration and problem solving are also integrated into the GE Girls experience.
Employment Increasing in STEM Fields
GE Girls is part of a long-term vision by GE to address gender disparity in the STEM fields. Men disproportionately outnumber women in these fields that are fueling our economy. GE has made a pledge to place 20,000 women in technical roles by 2020 or #BalancetheEquation.
“GE Girls is one way we are reaching out to engage young people in STEM skill development, however, bridging gaps and having the right skill sets for the future will take multiple approaches and organizations” said Kristen Seashore, Co-leader of GE Girls in Madison and Lead Program Integrator at GE Healthcare. “We need to be in the schools on a regular basis and continue to share our passion for STEM with young people year-round.”
During the summer of 2017, the GE Girls programs will be held in 20 GE communities across the U.S. including newly added Madison, Wisconsin. Additionally, the first international camp will be launched by GE in Switzerland.
The editors would like to thank the management and volunteer staff at GE Girls for their help in producing this article, providing the photos and for all their work to support the future of Woman In Tech! #Codelikeagirl