Girls know that yes, it is rocket science – at least at the GEMS camp for girls. GEMS stands for Girls Exploring Math and Science.
In Ottumwa Iowa, nine women tell a crowd of 50 girls that math, science, and engineering are not just for men. Meantime, volunteer Heidi Peterson explained the goal of the program while preparing some science activities.
“This is our seventh GEMS camp: Girls Exploring Math and Science,” said Peterson, an Indian Hills professor of anatomy and physiology. “We’re employing the ‘role model principle’: If the girls have experienced science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) through female mentors before reaching junior high school, they are more likely to stay interested.”
Some of the popular actibities included discovering techniques used to launch an object away from Earth, breaking the pull of gravity. They also learned about energy, surface tension, and material interactions.
“They really did like that, and yes, it is rocket science,” Peterson said.