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JJH girls, moms participate in UIC STEM event


Several sixth grade Jerling Jr. High School students participated in UIC’s all girls engineering program earlier this month.  The program, called ‘Mom, Me & SWE’, brought girls and their mothers together with other females interested in engineering.  UIC’s SWE, the Society of Women Engineers,  designed the program to promote engineering to girls in 5th through 7th grade who are bright, creative and enjoy hands-on projects.


Gary Gow, science teacher at Jerling Junior High School, arranged the program for his students in collaboration with a former student of his, Grace Brown, that now attends UIC.  Brown, a senior engineering major at UIC, explained the event: “Each event focuses on different branches of engineering and attempts to explain what it means to be an engineer,” she continued, “We believe that it is important for young girls to learn what engineers do and that it is possible for any of them to pursue a degree in engineering later on. It is also a great experience for all of the SWE volunteers as we get to share our love for engineering with all of the participants!”



This year, Sara Elagha, Sophia Jimenez and Mya St. Clair participated in the event, creating circuits and learning what it takes to be an engineer.  Of the student experience, Gow said, “Seeing these girls take an interest in engineering at such a young age and to have this amazing opportunity to work with women in engineering at a prestigious university is extremely rewarding. The fact that a former student, now an engineering major, is part of the team that put this program together is the icing on the cake!“



This is the second year that Mr. Gow had students participate in the event.  Orland School District 135 proudly encourages students of all levels to participate in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) initiatives.