G G S Program Overview
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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 26, 2019.


Fall 2018- 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 2019 Robotics FIRST Lego League Challenge: INTO ORBITSM. The students identify a physical or social problem faced by humans during a long duration in space in exploration with our Sun's solar system.  The student teams will develop a solution for the problem.  The culminating event for this class is the STEM-GEMS-GISE/Minneapolis FLL Regional Robotics Tournament on January 26, 2019.


Spring 2018 – Aerospace Engineering & Rocketry

In these engaging and investigative classes students are immersed in the fundamentals of aerospace engineering and rocketry through an interactive problem-based approach.  Working in small teams and pairs, students solve a series of complex problems designing, constructing and testing a variety of aircraft.  

GEMS and GISE students conduct hands-on investigations exploring aerospace engineering and related career fields. Students explore this specialized field that includes the design of spacecraft and aircraft. Discovering that air (navigating within the earth’s atmosphere) and spacecraft (operating primarily in outer space, beyond the earth’s atmosphere) are technologies that extend human potential to transport people and goods.

Students work and learn through exciting, project-based aerospace engineering activities designing, constructing, testing, and troubleshooting as they work toward their final flight.  The culminating event for this class is the 4th-8th GEMS-GISE Aerospace and Rocketry Exhibition on Launch April 20, 2019.