Corey D. + Sara Jaye
Christina Dugan
November 11, 2016 03:00 PM

Girl power, anyone?

Meet the young ladies of Netflix’s original series Project Mc2: Belle Shouse, 16, Genneya Walton, 17, Mika Abdalle, 16, Ysa Penarejo, 16, and Victoria Vida, 17.

As the Emmy-nominated show centers around empowering young women in their day-to-day lives, PEOPLE sat down with the girls to get a better idea of how they plan on getting their message across.

“The meaning behind the show is that smart is the new cool and that girls can do anything,” Shouse says. “The message is to really focus on S.T.E.A.M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) and to embrace it.”

This isn’t your average group of teenage girls — they don’t have time for relationships, gossip, going to the mall or school pep rallies, but they say it’s totally worth it.

“It’s not your typical teenage life, but you’re surrounded by people who are doing the exact same thing as you that know what it really means what it means to be a part of something like this.”

“Many times, there’s this idea that girls can’t do science and can’t do this and that, but I love that we’re breaking that stereotype,” Vida adds. “We women are very strong, and very smart. Our role in S.T.E.A.M needs to be bigger. We don’t do that to diminish the role of men, but it’s important for us to embrace women. We can still keep that femininity and wear four-inch heels going to work. I like how diverse we are. There’s not just one type of beauty — beauty comes in all shapes, colors, sizes. That’s what makes our world beautiful, because of the diversity in it.”

The show’s third season, which premiered on Oct. 14, encourages a new generation of girls to continue to explore, dream, create and, most importantly, be their true selves.

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