This week is all about girl power at the new GE Girls at UCONN Camp. The week-long summer program will expose 23 Stamford middle school girls to science and technology.
“Each of the days we focus on a different area of STEM; science technology, engineering and math,” says Susan Torney of GE Capital.
The program kicked off Monday with activities ranging from tower building to motorized Lego car races.
“As soon as they got their hands on everything, you saw them get really excited about it and nobody wanted to break for lunch,” says Torney.
“I thought it was really fun and hands on,” says student Britney Sanchez. “That’s what I liked about it, that you’re not really studying or writing, you’re creating things.”
The GE Women’s Network partnered with UCONN and Stamford Public Schools to bring GE Girls to Stamford, joining 5 other programs across the country. Organizers say it’s important to get more young girls involved in the STEM field.
Louise McMinn, teacher at GE Girls at UCONN and Scofield Magnet School says, “Still in the United States, the number of STEM positions are increasing and the number of women in some STEM careers, especially computer science, is decreasing.”
“Women in the technology and sciences field is much lower proportionately to men,” says Torney. “What studies have shown is if you get them interested early, middle school age, and can continue that interest through high school, they’re more likely to be interested in it for their college and career.”
“I like to view a bunch of fields so I can get a feel of what I’d like to do and I like engineering and science and math which are my favorite subjects,” says participant Madeleine Gasser.
The program also gives the girls a first-hand look at different careers in STEM.
“We have different GE leaders coming in everyday to talk to them about their careers and how they evolved to the area of technology that they’re in,” says Torney. “We spend a half a day over at the GE site and we show them how we use technology and STEM in GE, so we bring real life products and real life experiments.
GE Girls began three years ago and this is the first year for the program in Connecticut. Torney says GE plans to continue the camp every year.
For more information about the program, contact GEGirls.UCONN@ge.com