Despite making up roughly half the population of the U.S., American women are typically underrepresented in career fields involving math and science.

The 3rd annual GEMS (Girls Empowered by Math and Science) Wednesday at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside aims to change that by introducing 250 middle school girls through Girls, Inc. from Jerstad, Gilmore, Starbuck, McKinley and Mitchell Middle Schools to a variety of experts and scientists – some from right here in Racine.

As of October 2015, women made up just 39 percent of chemists; 28 percent of environmental scientists; 16 percent of chemical engineers; and only 12 percent of civil engineers, according to a story at

Five experts will introduce themselves and lead an interactive workshop so the girls can get a real feel for what a future in these fields or similar areas of study could look like:

Kayla Carter – This Prairie School graduate is a systems engineer for medical products at Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, OH.

Rachael Headley – UWP Professor will lead students through a “Is It Getting Hot in Here?” workshop based on climate change science.

Senior Project Engineer Betty Mosby spends her days at Emerson Commercial and Residential Solutions, the parent company for Racine-based InSinkErator.

Bart Adrian is a meteorologist who spent a number of years on TV predicting our weather. His workshop, “What Makes the Wild Winds Blow” will introduce girls to the science behind the weather.

Racine Police Criminologist Don Prudhom will show girls how to process a crime scene and what really goes into being a crime scene investigator.