Thirty middle school girls will be discovering just how fun and interesting it can be to utilize science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through hands-on projects and mentoring with women currently in STEM careers.

The GE Girls at MSOE program inspires middle school girls to consider STEM careers through engaging and challenging hands-on experiences using STEM skills in collaboration with women role models currently working in related industries.

The program is a week-long experience (June 22-26, 2015) that features dynamic curriculum around physics, math, chemistry, and electronics, in addition to projects developed specifically around the expertise at GE Healthcare, GE Power & Water 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.

They’ll spend Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the classrooms and laboratories at MSOE; Tuesday at GE Power & Water; and Thursday at GE Healthcare.

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. During the summer of 2015, GE Girls programs will be held in 12 GE communities across the US.

GE Girls partners in southeastern Wisconsin include GE Healthcare, GE Power & Water, GE Women’s Network, MSOE and the Waukesha School System. The leaders/instructors of the program are employees of these organizations.

Studies show that middle school is a time when many girls lose interest in science and math. GE Girls wants to bring out the inner engineer or rocket scientist that may be inside these students at a time when young minds are open to anything. Middle schoolers from Les Paul Middle School and Waukesha STEM academy were selected to participate in 2105. Since it began in Milwaukee in 2012, a total of 104 girls from the Waukesha area will have participated.

Each program participant meets with an accomplished female mentor from the GE Women’s Network. Mentoring continues after the week-long program ends.