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Summer camp gets girls interested in engineering

MILWAUKEE — Even though school is out for the summer, GE Healthcare and the Milwaukee School of Engineering hosted a week-long summer camp for girls attending the Waukesha STEM Academy, to get them excited about engineering.

“It teaches me a lot of life lessons on how to collaborate and work with others, and how to engineer things to make them successful,” eighth-grader Gwen Nichols said.

The program is meant to generate enthusiasm in science, technology, math and engineering.

 “We have five days of construction, chemistry, healthcare and electronics related activities,” Kelly Piacsek with GE Healthcare said.

Although many young ladies may be interested in the field of engineering, they may not know what careers in the field are out there.

MSOE officials say their female enrollment is only about 20% and they hope to attract more girls into the school and the field of engineering.

“The earlier the girls realize that liking science and liking math is a good thing and that there are fun ways and fun jobs for women, that’s the first step,” MSOE Professor of Biomedical Engineering Olga Imas said.

The young ladies participate in a variety of hands-on activities that have a scientific or technical lesson behind them.

“It’s all about structural and mechanical engineering today. They’re going to make parachutes later today. Tomorrow they’re going to be doing robotics and they’re actually going to develop a robotic surgical arm,” Piacsek said.

“Now that we get to do this, it inspires me in a way, like wanting to be an engineer,” eighth-grader Savannah Schloesser said.

The program is meant to build skill sets, but also build confidence.

This is the first year for the program is taking place in Milwaukee. The camp runs through Friday, July 20th.

CLICK HERE for more on the program via MSOE’s website.

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