Girls entering the seventh or eighth grade can sign up now for GEMS (Girls in Engineering, Mathematics, and Science), a free summer camp at Bird High School which gives middle school girls experience in the fields of mathematics, engineering and science, in two sessions : (1) July 11-15; (2) July 18-22.
Participants will work together to build a robot while learning about mechanics and computer programming. GEMS participants will also meet professional women working in engineering and related fields.
According to GEMS creator Nancy Hoover, girls have made great gains in math and science achievement at the high school level since the early 1980s; however, girls take fewer of those classes than boys. “Where are the girls?” Hoover asked. “It is perplexing that at a time when girls have shown such great gains in parity among academic achievement and college graduation, that those same gains are not reflected in science, technology, engineering and math fields as well.”
May 27 is the deadline to apply for either the July 11-15 or July 18-22 session. GEMS runs 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. each day at Bird High School. GEMS is funded by the Federal Highway Administration and the Virginia Department of Transportation. If the number of applicants exceeds the 28 spots available each week, participants will be selected through a random drawing.
For an application form, go to chesterfield.k12.va.us or contact Hoover at Nancy_Hoover@ccpsnet.net  or 768-6110, Ext. 165.