Exposing More Girls to STEM
Middle-school girls experience Tech in CEISMC summer program
More than 25 girls from metro Atlanta middle schools are spending the week at Georgia Tech to learn about science, technology, engineering and math. Last year’s group the girls learned about the bees on the roof of the Clough Commons and this year’s class received a tour Tuesday.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This story by Laura Diamond was first published on June 27, 2017, in the Georgia Tech News Center.
Kailyn Fields spent Monday coding and programming robots. Tuesday she learned about the bees living on the roof of Clough Commons. Before the week is out, she’ll also make lip balm, design and launch a water rocket and experiment with the machines and tools in the Invention Studio, Georgia Tech’s student-run makerspace.
The 11-year-old is one of 28 girls from metro Atlanta spending the week at Georgia Tech to learn about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through hands-on activities.
“I love science so much, especially anything about planets and the solar system, because you get answers to all the questions you have about everything around you,” said Kailyn, a rising seventh-grader at East Cobb Middle School in Marietta. “It’s cool to learn about science here because it makes me feel like I’m a student at Georgia Tech.”
This is the eighth year GE has sponsored GE Girls @ Tech. The Institute’s Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics and Computing (CEISMC) works with the company on the program.
“Our goal is to build the pipeline for all students; especially under-represented groups in STEM disciplines,” said Chris Thompson, CEISMC’s associate director of Student Enrichment. “Partnering with GE allows us to introduce young women to Georgia Tech and the many opportunities available. When the time comes to choose a college, we hope Georgia Tech will be at the top of their list.”
GE is leading summer programs in a dozen cities to expose more young girls to careers in STEM. During the Atlanta program, the girls interact with female professors and students from Georgia Tech as well as female leaders from GE.
“We target middle-school girls for the GE Girls program because this is the age when girls start forming strong opinions about their likes and dislikes,’ said JoDee Newcomb, GE co-lead for the Atlanta program. “Our camp allows them to explore STEM activities in a fun, safe environment with both Georgia Tech and GE women who can share their experiences and passion for the field.”
Mel Miles, a rising seventh-grader at East Cobb Middle, said she was having a great time learning more about STEM. The University of Georgia football fan begrudgingly admitted it “isn’t that bad” spending a week at Georgia Tech.
“It’s fun being here because I really like science because I like learning how everything works,” the 12-year-old said.