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GE and NSBE Celebrate Accomplishments of Local STEM Students At Closing Day of the Summer Engineering Experience for Kids

CHICAGO – July 28, 2014 –GE, along with the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), recently celebrated the accomplishments of local students at the Closing Day Ceremony of the Chicago Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK).  SEEK is part of a national effort by NSBE to increase math proficiency and to provide students—particularly from underserved communities—with enriching science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) experiences by the fifth grade.

One hundred fifty students in grades three through five participated in the inaugural Chicago program, July 7-25 at the Miles Davis Academy. Each week, participants learned new engineering concepts, employing them in teams to design and build miniature cars and airplanes. Students then tested their gadgets in end-of-week competitions.   

GE, a title sponsor, also announced its commitment to support the program for two more years. 

“Year one of the Chicago SEEK program was a tremendous success. We saw students discover new ways of thinking to create change and make their mark,” said Russell Stokes, CEO and president of GE Transportation, a division of GE. “At GE, STEM education is a deeply personal issue for many of us because it has helped define the course of our careers. We are incredibly proud to be involved with this program and look forward to continuing our support to help shape the next generation of engineers and technologists right here in Chicago.”

GE’s support of the program helps fund stipends and other expenses for collegiate members of NSBE who serve as SEEK mentors during the program. GE engineers also help prepare the NSBE collegiate mentors and judge weekly student competitions.  The program will continue to evolve the curriculum and offerings to participants.

“It’s been great to watch the learning and passion for STEM grow in these young students over the past three weeks,” said Dr. Karl Reid, executive director of NSBE. “We are thrilled to partner with GE Transportation and its parent GE to keep the program here in Chicago for the next two years and to provide young minds with challenging and yet highly enjoyable STEM education, taught by smart, dedicated engineers and engineering students.”

The program helps drive forward Mayor Emanuel’s citywide strategy to increase Chicago students’ access to STEM learning opportunities, which he announced in March. The Mayor’s vision strategically brings together educational, corporate, and philanthropic resources to help achieve the shared goal of increasing STEM opportunities for Chicago students.

“I am proud to welcome the SEEK program to the City of Chicago for another two years,” said Mayor Emanuel. “This program aligns with our vision to expand students' access to high-quality STEM learning opportunities and helps them develop the skills needed to compete in an increasingly STEM-focused workforce.”

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