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Case Study

GE Girls Kick-Off Helps Excite and Retain Interest in STEMM for Middle School Girls

Pictured are all of the middle schools girls at the kickoff event in the Tinkham Veale University Center

On Wednesday, October 22nd, The Flora Stone Mather Center for Women’s WISER (Women in Science and Engineering Roundtable) and the Office of Corporate Relations worked in partnership with GE Lighting and Cleveland Play House to host a kick-off event with 160 middle-school girls to establish the GE Girls program. GE Girls involves students from 15 schools in Northeast Ohio with the aim to help young girls gain access and exposure to Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine (STEMM) ) fields, and pursue them with confidence.

Dr. Kathleen Buse, Faculty Director of Leadership for Women in STEM at CWRU and Lisa Ward, Manager of New Product Introduction, GE Lighting spoke to the girls about the benefits of exploring STEMM fields and pursuing STEMM careers. Experiments and activities led by CWRU professors and graduate students engaged the girls and allowed them to gain hands-on experience. Surveys completed by the students indicated an overall 20% increase in interest of STEMM fields based on this activity.

During the second half of the event, GE introduced the girls to the Project-in-a-Box portion of the GE Girls program. The students will participate in monthly STEM-related experiments to help “solve the mystery of who is killing the crops of the local biofuel complex.” GE Lighting’s Women’s Network volunteers, with help from CWRU student volunteers will attend activities located at the partner middle schools to assist the girls with the experiments.

GE Girls aims to excite and retain interest of middle school girls in science, technology, engineering, math, and medicine(STEMM). The participating students are part of Cleveland Metropolitan School District and the First Ring Superintendents’ Collaborative (FRSC). FRSC is an association of suburban school superintendents whose school districts surround the city of Cleveland, Ohio. The FRSC was established in 2000 to address the unique poverty, cultural diversity and mobility challenges affecting students of the First Ring school districts.

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