GEM Clubs (Girls Excelling in Math and Science)
This project was developed and implemented by STEM West, the educational arm of Workforce Development of the Western Piedmont Council of Governments and funded by the Duke Energy Foundation and the Appalachian Rural Commission. STEM West partnered with the NCCET and The Science House of NCSU to provide training. Dr. Laura Bottomley of Women in Engineering from NCSU kicked off the training Monday. She shared research about females in STEM careers and why these clubs are important to our community. On Tuesday, GEMS coaches from Charlotte Mecklenburg, Dee Chinault and Corry Broxterman, shared practical experience they learned from their club of five years. Wednesday, Gina Barrier of The Science House/NCSU, trained the coaches in data-collection devices and Makey, Makeys. The GEMS coaches have access to the free equipment loan program to use in their GEMS clubs.
These 27 coaches will start their new GEMS clubs in the fall. Using grant funds to purchase materials or fund club field trips, they will provide experiences for approximately 30 girls in each club to build their confidence and provide opportunities in the STEM fields.