There are not enough women working in STEM fields today. To help address this gender gap, MSOE has partnered with GE to offer a week-long program to engage young ladies in middle school with chemistry, electricity, software development and more in fun ways to spark their interest in STEM.  

Called GE Girls at MSOE, the program was created to engage girls at a critical age in their development to influence their continued interest in STEM areas, as well as encourage and inspire them to consider pursuing STEM-based careers. Studies show that middle school is a time when many girls lose interest in science and math.  

The week-long experience, held June 18-22, features dynamic curriculum around physics, math, chemistry, computer science and electronics, in addition to learnings developed specifically around the expertise at GE Healthcare, GE Power and MSOE. Girls participate in numerous hands-on interactive learning exercises and skill development intended to spark their interest in building engines, understanding combustion, electronic circuitry, medical imaging, Lean principles and even the chemistry know-how needed to create lip gloss and ice cream. Soft skills, such as team building, leadership, communications, collaboration and problem solving are also integrated into the experience.  

Thirty-six middle school girls from Milwaukee Public Schools Hayes Bilingual Middle School, Shorewood Intermediate School, Waukesha Public Schools Les Paul Middle School and Waukesha STEM Academy participated this year. Since it began in Wisconsin in 2012, a total of 212 girls (including 2018 members) have been involved. The program is free to the students as a community service program of GE.    

GE Girls is part of a long-term vision to address gender parity in the STEM fields and at GE.  GE has made a pledge to place 20,000 women in technical roles by 2020. GE Girls began in 2011, following a challenge from GE CEO Jeff Immelt to have a greater impact on women in STEM. The GE Aviation team partnered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to develop a curriculum designed to spark girls’ interest in STEM.  In 2012, GE Girls was launched by GE Healthcare in Milwaukee at MSOE and our first graduates will be attending college in the fall. More than 50 percent are pursuing STEM majors.