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Six years ago Girls Inc. of Southeast Wisconsin possessed a vision of offering the opportunity for middle school girls to attend a conference on STEM careers. From that first conference with 70 students in attendance, the Sith Annual GEMS (Girls Empowered by Math and Science) Conference had an attendance of over 400 girls attend UW-Parkside on Jan. 17. These seventh and eighth grade girls had the opportunity to hear our guest speaker Alley Faith, KISS-FM DJ. In addition to hearing Ms. Faith, students chose three hands-on workshops that related to math, science and engineering.

The mission of the 2019 GEMS Conference was 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 Southeast Wisconsin, the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, American Association of University Women — Racine, the Racine Unified School District, SC Johnson, American Transmission Company, Insinkerator, UPS, and United Way of Racine County.

It was an extremely successful day as we witnessed the enthusiasm of these young girls as they explored the many opportunities available to them in the STEM career areas. We are looking forward to the next conference in January 2020.

Cynthia Larsen

GEMS 2019 Steering Committee

Girls Inc. of Southeast Wisconsin Board Member

AAUW — Racine President

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