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Girls in Engineering, Mathematics and Science (GEMS) & Guys In Science and Engineering (GISE):
Girls in Engineering, Mathematics and Science (GEMS) & Guys In Science and Engineering (GISE):

GEMS and GISE are single-gender afterschool and summer school programs designed specifically for girls and boys grades 4th – 8th in the Minneapolis Public School District. The Little GEMS and Jr. GISE programs first piloted in spring 2010 for students in grades K -3 provides STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) opportunities to boys and girls early in their educational experience and positively influences student attitudes towards STEM academic areas and in STEM related careers fields. Students have an opportunity to enter in the program in elementary and continue through middle school establishing learning continuity and capacity. The programs focus on explorations of science and mathematics through project-based and problem-based learning experiences that promote the integration of engineering and technology concepts, content, and process. The curriculum is developed utilizing Minnesota State Standards for Science and Mathematics. The premise of the STEM-GEMS-GISE Program is to encourage and excite all learners in education while accelerating core content competencies, building confidence, and establishing a venue for real world learning and problem solving.

Students that participate in STEM-GEMS-GISE enroll in a year-long afterschool program that is comprised of two semester courses with an opportunity to continue learning in the five week summer K-8 STEM Academy. At the end of both the fall and spring semester courses and the summer STEM Academy students participate in an academic culminating event. The academic culminating events involve a design challenge that is constructed to support the content and concepts learned throughout the course either in a STEM tournament, festival, or exhibition. Students from 49 GEMS/GISE school sites across the district participate in the culminating curricular event. The parents, family members and community members also attend the K-8 culminating events. This year students in GEMS and GISE will demonstrate their learning in a program-wide at the K-8 Robotics Tournament & Exploring Engineering Exhibition on January 27, 2018.


Fall 2017- Robotics

In this exciting robotics class students learn mechanical design, construction, programming, and teamwork skills. In pairs, using LEGO building elements, motors, and sensors, students build different robot prototypes and program them with a computer to move, react, and make sounds. Students will utilize their prototypes and programming to solve design challenges using the LEGO Mindstorms NXT Robotic System or the Lego EV3 Robotic System.

Students will participate in the 2018 Robotics FIRST Lego League Challenge: HYDRO DYNAMICSSM. The students will learn all about water- how to find, transport, use, or dispose of it. The culminating event for this class is the STEM-GEMS-GISE /Minneapolis FLL Regional Robotics Tournament on January 27, 2018.


Spring 2018 – Energy, Electricity, and Electronics

In these engaging and investigative classes students are immersed in the fundamentals of energy, electricity, and electronics. Students explore energy sources, examine energy basics (energy measured, converted, and transferred) and the future of energy including conservation and alternatives through an interactive problem-based approach.

Students conduct hands-on investigations into the properties of electricity – currents, open and closed circuits, series and parallel circuits, and static electricity. Students work and learn through exciting, project-based electronics experiments utilizing circuit boards and electronic components for circuit construction, testing, and troubleshooting. Students in 7th and 8th grade will have an opportunity to explore digital electronics. The culminating event for this class will be an Energy, Electricity, & Electronics Exhibition held on each of the GEMS/GISE program sites.