GETT Encourages Girls to Ignore Gender Barriers and Pursue STEM Careers

West Chester East High School Student Aubrie Nader with NBC10's Rosemary Connors--via Instagram

In a glamorous start, a female piloted helicopter landed on West Chester East High School’s grounds to kick off the 16th Annual Girls Exploring Tomorrow’s Technology event on March 12th, writes Adam Farence for the Daily Local News.

The program breaks gender barriers and inspires young women to follow careers in male-dominated professions. Each year, GETT provides middle and high school girls with the opportunity to talk to and learn from women who are working in STEM related professions.

“We don’t see a lot of younger women entering fields as we’re getting older,” commented Nadine Trombley, who works at Sikorsky managing and optimizing workflow. “We want to give them opportunities they may not know they had.”

Together with her mother Joanne, Trombley helped establish the program nearly 16 years ago when it welcomed 60 girls and 20 adult volunteer mentors. On Saturday, 600 girls from over a hundred schools were welcomed by several hundred adult mentors.

NBC10’s Rosemary Connors spoke to the girls participating in the event during one of the breaks, encouraging them to pursue their dreams.

“No matter what career you choose, you will need all these things you are learning today; science, technology, engineering, and math,” she said. “It’s important for women to support other women, girls to support their families. You can do just about anything.”

Booths were set up in the school’s gym by volunteers and instructors so that the girls could interact with as many different mentors as possible in a short period of time, giving them the chance to consider career options they may not have thought were open to them. Classrooms were also used to conduct experiments and provide in-depth presentations of some of the professions. There the girls were able to learn things like how to extract DNA from strawberries and the different aspects of cyber security.

“Girls tend to not want to go into STEM fields, since they’re sometimes viewed as a ‘nerdy guy thing,’” said Joanne Trombley. “Our goal is to bust that myth. When girls see there are helpful things in STEM fields as something they can do, they become passionate about it.”

Read more about the 16th GETT on the Daily Local News here.

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