Imagine the excitement of over 300 girls who were able to explore science, math, and engineering topics by spending the day at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

On Jan. 18, seventh- and eighth-grade girls from Gilmore, Jerstad-Agerholm, McKinley, Mitchell, REAL, Gifford, Walden, and Starbuck Middle schools attended the GEMS — Girls Empowered by Math and Science Conference — held at the UW-Parkside campus. These girls had the opportunity to hear our guest speaker, Florence Tan, deputy chief technologist at the Science Mission Directorate at NASA headquarters. In addition to hearing Ms. Tan, students chose three hands-on workshops that related to math, science, and engineering.

The mission of the 2018 GEMS Conference is twofold: to provide young women with opportunities to learn about the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in careers; and to promote young women's participation in STEM courses in high school and college.

The conference was accomplished through the efforts of Girls Inc. of Racine, UW-Parkside, American Association of University Women-Racine, Racine Unified School District, SC Johnson, Gateway Technical College, Safe Haven of Racine Inc., and United Way of Racine County.

It was an extremely successful day as we encouraged these young girls to explore the many opportunities available to them in the STEM career areas.

We are looking to another successful conference in January 2019.

Cynthia Larsen

Racine

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