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NCSA Girls Engaged in Math and Science GEMS Program a Hit Among Middle School Girls

Famous Women in Computer Science

Real Tales of Learning Computer Science as a High School Girl

National Center for Women and Information Technology

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GEMS encourages learning through individual and group exploration.


"I loved the animations. I am an artist and this was really cool, like making a story or a movie. I took what was in my mind and made it a reality."

GEMS Student


Starting in 2013, GEMS is entering a partnership with the Department of Computer Science. Details for the 2013 workshop are being developed now and will be posted here as soon as they are available!

The Girls Engaged in Math and Science program at the University of Illinois' National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) targets middle school girls in east- Central Illinois and is one of the few sustained outreach programs that has been successfully implemented since 1994. It is intended to encourage girls to consider STEM careers, to gain confidence in using authentic computer tools for math and science, to increase their higher level thinking skills, and to encourage them to take advanced level mathematics and science courses in high school and college.

Over the years, GEMS content covered a wide range of topics and skill development, including, but not limited to, astronomy, mathematics, and biodiversity, and 3-D graphic rendering, and have used a number of computational resources, such as SQUEAK, Sloan Digital Sky Survey, Biology Student Workbench, NetLogo, and more. In the past, GEMS participants have also been Beta testers for software such as OpenCroquet.

View the 2012 GEMS curriculum

The workshop focused on Mathematics and Computer Science related activities. Read the article about the GEMS program. View curriculum and materials from the week. Vist the Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

The GEMS website has been developed by middle and high school participants. GEMS is a program of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Last updated December 22, 2011. All rights reserved. © 2011 Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.