There continues to be a need for the representation of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. To address this need, the Girls Excelling in Mathematics and Science (GEMS) research team at Purdue started a GEMS club at Lew Wallace School in Indianapolis, referred to as Indy GEMS Club. GEMS research assistants Maria Eloisa Nuguid, Yi Zhu, and Grace Gochnauer worked with Professor Elizabeth Suazo-Flores. This article is a description of the first Indy GEMS Club experience that consisted of hands-on activities created by GEMS founder Laura Reasoner Jones. The activities were hidden Legos, cup stacking, building a zipline, creating a water filter, and making a coin battery. Once a week for four weeks, the Purdue GEMS team met with a group of 12 to 18 energetic third and fourth grade girls ready to engage in these informal STEM activities together. The girls communicated, collaborated, and most importantly had fun doing STEM in an environment that is different from a traditional classroom setting. There was an opportunity to engage the girls in an outdoor setting for the water filter activity. We were invited for a second semester at Lew Wallace School for Spring of 2023. For upcoming Indy GEMS Club, we are developing visuospatial research-based activities that involve analyzing space with imagery through drawing, creating, building, and inquiry. We argue that Indy GEMS Club will continue to benefit the community and students by providing them with opportunities to collaborate and engage in rich, hands-on, and interactive activities that portray them as doers of science and mathematics.
Nuguid, Maria Eloisa
"Indianapolis GEMS Club: Engagement in Informal Mathematics and Science Learning.,"
Purdue Journal of Service-Learning and International Engagement: Vol. 10
Available at: https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/pjsl/vol10/iss1/8