Shorewood Intermediate School Students Take Part in Summer STEM Program, GE Girls
Eight Shorewood Intermediate School girls—Ashai Bryant, Ava Vogel-Del Valle, Carmen Wilder, Chie Shishidou, Clara McElfresh, Jacey Gray-Hall, KeLan Migan, and Mariana Shaffer—were selected to be part of the GE Girls at MSOE program June 19 – 23. They joined 28 other young ladies from Milwaukee and Waukesha schools.
The GE Girls program is a week-long experience that features dynamic curriculum on topics such as physics, math, chemistry, and electronics. 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 principals and even the chemistry know-how needed to create lip gloss and ice cream. Soft skills, such as team building, communications, collaboration and problem solving are also integrated into the GE Girls experience.
View a short recap of the week-long program below.
Day 1: The girls completed a Balloon Tower Design Challenge, learned how to use the SCRATCH programming tool, and spent the afternoon in the healthcare technology space which included an ultrasound (Doppler), an incubator, a monitoring device with blood pressure, pulse ox, brain waves, health apps on stress, food (via the phone) and meditation.
Day 2: The girls spent the day at GE Power focused on rocket fuel and engines. The girls got a firsthand look at "Thunder Pumpkin" engines and their uses out in the field, and then built their own engines. Additionally, the girls learned about combustion with balloons & fizzy fuels, and were able to experiment with which fuel had the best results.
Day 3: The girls enjoyed fun with polymers, snap circuits & building their own electrical circuits, while learning some principles of manufacturing, electricity, materials, soldering, and wiring circuits. Highlights for the day included creating their own LED light circuits and designing their own pieces of jewelry.
Day 4: The girls learned about a number of different health technologies & their applications, including Ultrasound, X-ray & CTs. The girls also focused on the principles of "Lean" & and explored STEM in a number of different areas including: robotics, advanced manufacturing, finance & computer programming, and 3D printing.
Day 5: The girls participated in the challenges of flame testing, making lip gloss & even their own ice cream. The girls also watched a portion of the movie Hidden Figures, based on a true story about a group of women who served as the brains behind the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit.
The eight SIS students who participated were accompanied by Shorewood teacher Jessica Votava. Votava was also an instructor for some of the activities during the weeklong learning. "The GE and MSOE team did a good job of developing a curriculum that is hands-on and interactive which is the best way to engage youth," said Votava.
Votava also noted that one of the larger benefits of the program is for the girls to see women in the STEM fields working at GE who look like them, don't fit the stereotype of a scientist and have a variety of roles in business using STEM skills.
There is no cost for the students to participate in GE Girls. GE Healthcare provides this program as a community service project.
The GE Girls program is designed to stimulate and maintain interest in science, engineering, technology and math (STEM). Today, men far outnumber women in science and technology related occupations. Studies show that middle school is a time when many girls lose interest in science and math.
GE Healthcare has a long history of supporting education and STEM activities in southeastern Wisconsin through a host of volunteer efforts including FIRST Robotics mentoring, STEM Forward programs, Junior Achievement, in classroom programs and more.
GE Girls partners in southeastern Wisconsin include GE Healthcare, GE Power, GE Women's Network, and MSOE as well as the Milwaukee Public Schools, Waukesha School System and Shorewood School District.
Since it began in Wisconsin in 2012, a total of 176 girls (including 2017 members) have participated in the week-long program.
View a photo gallery from the 2017 GE Girls program here, courtesy of GE.