Hundreds of Northeast Ohio Girls Celebrate STEM Learning with GE and Partners at Year End Event

  • 160 sixth-grade students complete GE Girls STEM program and solve yearlong biofuels mystery course
  • Celebratory program at Progressive Field recognizes girls’ achievements, provides opportunity for students to engage with regional female STEM leaders

EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio—May 14, 2015—GE Girls, a GE Lighting created and sponsored program designed to increase girls’ interest and participation in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, concluded its yearlong program at Progressive Field Thursday morning. Participating sixth-grade students from 15 Northeast Ohio schools came together May 14, 2015, to celebrate their achievements, participate in the final hands-on activity with local female leaders and attend the Cleveland Indians afternoon baseball game.

GE Girls is designed to encourage school girls’ interest in STEM fields, collaborate with regional, leading business partners and engage students in ongoing STEM programs and events. Since its inception in 2010, more than 300 girls have participated in the GE Girls program.

“STEM is an exciting, promising field to pursue, and our girls are discovering both their love for it and their ability to succeed through engaging activities,” said Maryrose Sylvester, President & CEO of GE Lighting. “GE Girls has empowered these young women to reach their full potential, encouraging them to build their futures around fields of study with endless opportunity.”

GE Girls enthusiastically work on final watchtower project at the GE Girls End-of-Year Summit at Progressive Field.

For nearly eight months throughout the 2014-2015 school year, 160 girls participated in the GE Girls STEM program. Led by GE Volunteers who visited classrooms monthly, the students worked in teams learning special lessons in life sciences, electronics, chemistry, computer science, architecture and physics. Each lesson was essential to solving the fun, top-secret biofuels mystery.

As part of the concluding event, Sylvester was joined by additional executive women who lead GE Girls’ partner organizations. The STEM leadership role model panel included Sylvester; Barbara R. Snyder, president of Case Western Reserve University; Jane Christyson, CEO of Girl Scouts of Northeast Ohio; and Laura Kepley, artistic director of the Cleveland Play House.

The panel spoke to the girls about STEM careers and engaged in the morning’s activities. As the final hands-on activity, the students, program volunteers and executive women worked together to construct a marshmallow-supported watchtower and learned the outcome of the yearlong mystery.

“My favorite parts about the watchtower are building with my friends and the teamwork,” said Tamia Farris, GE Girls participant and sixth-grade student at Caledonia Elementary in East Cleveland. “I like how GE Girls teaches me new things that we don’t learn in regular classes, and we have fun while learning.”

“I loved building a burglar alarm in one of the sessions and learning about circuit boards and what makes something work,” added Christina Troyer, GE Girls participant and sixth-grade student at Carylwood Intermediate School in Bedford. “GE Girls inspires me to be a biomechanical engineer when I grow up. I want to study medicine and design technology to treat illnesses, build nanobots and stuff like that. I’m going to be the first woman to cure cancer.”

To encourage continued interest in STEM beyond the students’ program year, GE Girls is designing an alumni program.

About GE Girls @GELVolunteers #GEGirlsCLE
GE Girls is a GE Women's Network initiative to excite and retain interest of middle school girls in science, technology, engineering and math, share GE's technology brand and facilitate interactions between career role models and students. GE Girls at GE Lighting engages 160 sixth-grade students from 15 schools in Northeast Ohio in yearlong, hands-on, project-based programming. This year's program launched October 2014 at Case Western Reserve University and is in partnership with the University and Cleveland Play House. For more information, visit http://www.gelighting.com/LightingWeb/gegirls/.

About GE Lighting
GE Lighting is changing the way people light and think about their world in commercial, industrial, municipal and residential settings. Light brightens our path to a better way of being. Today, light is intelligent. Light listens, learns and sees. GE. Where Light Is Bright. www.gelighting.com