Students learn about science, math during GM Get WISE event
The hands-on event aims to educate young girls about various opportunities related to science and engineering by providing them the opportunity to interact with professional women who work for GM and learn more about STEM careers.
During the event, students heard from guest speakers, toured the plant, completed various hands-on activities, and had the opportunity to interact with professional women in STEM careers. While on the floor, students received real world engineering experience from GM employees who showcased processes such as vehicle crash testing and computer coding.
“The biggest thing is educating these girls on what options they have as careers,” Get WISE Milford Chapter Lead Lisa Bradshaw said. “I didn’t grow up with parents that had college degrees, so they weren’t telling me ‘this is what you can do with your life.’ I didn’t have that guidance, so I think it’s important to say, ‘this is what your options are’ so they can choose the best fit for them.”
Although the number of female engineers has greatly improved since the early 1980s, when only 5.8 percent of engineers in the U.S. were women, advocates say more women are still needed in engineering.
“We always need more women in engineering. I’m married to an engineer and we have these conversations all the time,” Bradshaw, an autonomous vehicle simulator engineer for GM, said. “In our groups of friends and the people we work with, I see a lot of women. But when you start looking at the bigger side of it, I realize I’m in a meeting where I’m one of 20 women. I don’t think about it until I really step back.”
During the event’s closing remarks, Marissa West, executive sponsor for bringing the Get WISE event to the Milford Proving Grounds and director of the global noise and vibration center, encouraged the students to follow their dreams.
“You can do anything you want to do. Follow your dreams and, most importantly, be confident,” she said. “Be unique; look around at the GM engineers you met today. We don’t look the same, we don’t do the same job, we all got here in different ways but we all have the same passion for math and science.”