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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 provides class sizes small enough for one-to-one teacher-student interaction yet large enough for plenty of new friendships to form.

Class Sizes

"GEMS has opened up a new world for me. Learning and seeing basic programming has been really fun and that has made me become a lot more excited by computer science."

GEMS Student


NetLogo is a multi-agent programmable modeling environment. It is used by tens of thousands of students, teachers and researchers worldwide. It also powers HubNet participatory simulations. It is authored by Uri Wilensky and developed at the CCL. You can download it free of charge.

SQUEAK is a modern, open source, full-featured implementation of the powerful Smalltalk programming language and environment. Squeak is highly-portable - even its virtual machine is written entirely in Smalltalk making it easy to debug, analyze, and change. Squeak is the vehicle for a wide range of projects from multimedia applications, educational platforms to commercial web application development.

ALICE is an innovative 3D programming environment that makes it easy to create an animation for telling a story, playing an interactive game, or a video to share on the web. Alice is a teaching tool for introductory computing. It uses 3D graphics and a drag-and-drop interface to facilitate a more engaging, less frustrating first programming experience.

The Access Grid is an ensemble of resources including multimedia large-format displays, presentation and interactive environments, and interfaces to Grid middleware and to visualization environments. These resources are used to support group-to-group interactions across the Grid.

Logger Pro is award-winning, data-collection and analysis software for Windows and Mac computers.

The Sloan Digital Sky Survey is one of the most ambitious and influential surveys in the history of astronomy. Over eight years of operations (SDSS-I, 2000-2005; SDSS-II, 2005-2008), it obtained deep, multi-color images covering more than a quarter of the sky and created 3-dimensional maps containing more than 930,000 galaxies and more than 120,000 quasars.

Open Croquet is a collaborative, LiveProgramming, audio-visual 3D environment that allows development of interactive 'worlds.' GEMS girls were earlier Beta testers for OpenCroquet.

Moodle is a Course Management System (CMS), also known as a Learning Management System (LMS) or a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It is a Free web application that educators can use to create effective online learning sites.

EasyViz is a unified interface to various packages for scientific visualization and plotting.

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.