Summer program introduces Schenectady girls to STEM careers

August 11, 2017 06:15 PM

General Electric, RPI and Schenectady High School are all teaming up in an effort to get more girls excited about science and technology.

Soon-to-be eighth graders from Schenectady took part in the "GE Girls" program. They are about three-dozen of GE's goal to get 20,000 women in tech careers by 2020.

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"I realized science can be fun, so now I’m going into a science direction in college. I think part of that is because I did this program," noted Grace Canty.

She is among the girls who graduated the program, but keep coming back to help the younger students realize how important this can be to their future.

"I could do this as a job. Like, I could go work out in the field with a robot," noted Abigail Brown.

"I’ve really been interested in robotics. I did robotics club in my school and now I’m going to college to major in pre-med and biology to become a doctor," pointed out Kaylee Petraccione.

The girls were learning about wind turbines, making them out of cardboard, wood and plastic.

Congressman Paul Tonko says he's thrilled to see General Electric and RPI getting more kids involved.

"We are woefully underproducing engineers in our American society and so we need to make an emphasis with atypical students, with girls, young women, with students of color, of minority persuasion," explained Tonko.

Part of that is combining the learning experience with some excitement.

"We get to build with new stuff. I tried programming for the first time. It was really awesome," exclaimed Abigail.

"It did spark a big interest, because I realized it could be really fun. We made ice cream. I remember making lip balm. There were a lot of cool things we did," echoed Grace.

There are a lot more cool things for them in the future.


WNYT Staff

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