Gateway Raise the Floor event for elementary middle school girls

Gateway Community and Technical College hosted girls from the Cincinnati Squash Academy and their mothers at a Raise the Floor event tonight to encourage interest in STEM education and advanced manufacturing.

This is Gateways first mother/daughter, two generation Raise the Floor workshop to encourage moms to expose daughters to science and math at an early age and introduce them to careers in advanced manufacturing, said Brittany Corde, Gateways Raise the Floor coordinator.

Girls, ages 10-13, and their moms learned how fun science can be as they discovered what makes electricity and how it works from Brian Jenkins, ATech Training Inc. network administrator. Their interest was further sparked as they built an electric circuit and created a LED bracelet.

I think it is really cool to learn about new stuff I never knew about, said Edie, a 5th grader at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy.

We aim to expose our student athletes to as many opportunities as possible to change the trajectory of their life path. Our mission is to get our children to and through college. We are also very excited about the women empowerment piece of this education, said Rachael Parker, Cincinnati Squash Academy academic director.

Cincinnati Squash Academy (CSA) is a nonprofit after school program that serves 30 children in Cincinnati. CSA is the city's only non-profit organization that uses the disciplined game of squash to help transform talented students in under-served communities into scholar-athletes, productive citizens and future leaders.

Laura Lyons, CEO of ATech Training Inc. and chair of the Raise the Floor initiative shared, Women are naturally good at working with electricity, but they may believe they're not because they're girls. Exposing young girls to science and math will increase their confidence. You could say were empowering them through electricity.

The Raise the Floor initiative is a 12-month training and certification program in manufacturing skills at Gateway designed by women for women. Women who participate and succeed in the program may apply for high wage manufacturing jobs after just four months. In addition to the training, the program assists women with developing the support systems they need to be hired and effective in manufacturing positions, including locating transportation, accessing childcare and job placement and career services. For more information, contact Brittany Corde at 859-815-7614, or brittany.corde@kctcs.edu.