WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - STEM — or Science, Technology, Engineering and Math — may sound a little daunting or perhaps even boring to some of you reading this, right?
GE Hitachi worked to dispel that stigma on Friday.
GE Hitachi hosted its 10th annual Girls in Technology Summit at UNCW with the goal of promoting opportunities for women in engineering and business.
Dressed brightly in purple STEM T-shirts, 130 middle school girls from Pender and New Hanover counties participated.
"It is invaluable for students to interact with technology career role models and work in teams as real-life engineers do," said Mona Badie, chief information officer and chief digital officer for GEH. "On the 10th year that GEH hosts this event, we are thrilled to encourage and empower young women to pursue career paths in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math and impress on them that careers in technology solve real-world problems that help people."
More than 30 female engineers and technologists served as role models, coaches, mentors and judges.
All of the girls spent the day in groups plugging away at technology and engineering activities to help build problem-solving skills and learn how being an engineer is challenging, exciting and important work.
"Only 18 percent of girls that graduated college last year went into the computer science and engineering field. There is a huge gap," Badie said. "These girls are at the perfect age where we can try to shape their minds and show them they can make a difference."
GE Hitachi hopes to have 20,000 women in computer engineering fields by 2020 as part of a new initiative called Balancing the Equation.