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Wayne State College of Engineering Engages Middle School Girls In STEM

DETROIT -- On May 5, the Wayne State University College of Engineering hosted 38 former participants in the Gaining Options -- Girls Investigate Real Life (GO-GIRL) program at Wayne State.

The event, GO-GIRLs Go Material Girls, is part of Operation Keeping in Touch, a suite of workshops designed to provide continued support for GO-GIRLs and their parents.

Guangzhao Mao, professor of chemical engineering, and Eranda Nikolla, assistant professor of chemical engineering, hosted the college's portion of the "GO-GIRLs Go Material Girls" event, which included tours of the chemical engineering nanomaterials laboratory and the energy materials laboratory and research presentations by graduate students.   Stephanie Brock, professor in the WSU Department of Chemistry, spearheaded the chemistry lab portion of the event. Sally Roberts, assistant professor in Teacher Education in the WSU College of Education, coordinated the event. The 10-week Saturday GO-GIRL program and Operation KiT activities are funded by private donations and supported by volunteers.

GO-GIRL's mission is to increase the competence and confidence of middle-school girls in mathematics, technology, scientific thinking and communication by engaging them in experiences that promote interest in and awareness of careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

A new award from the National Institutes for Health Science, Gaining Options: Girls Investigate Real Life through Health Related STEM Disciplines will fund a new suite of collaborative activities beginning Summer 2012 which will include Summer Academies and social networking between undergraduate STEM majors and former GO-GIRL participants.

"We all had fun and look forward to future participation in this program," Mao said.   College of Engineering students who presented research were undergraduate student Rami Abou-Carr and graduate students Denise Conti, Pedram Jahanian, Feifei Ju, Negar Mosavati, Ayad Nacy, Yue Ren, Sunxi Wang and Yi Zou.

Undergraduate students Dhanya Andrew and Karthika Andrew also volunteered at the event.

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