Girls Interested in Science and Technology Have Fun With Science
Building a gum drop bridge, playing the flute, making lip balm—these were just a few of the fun activities designed to inspire young girls to envision careers in science, technology and math as part of Georgian Court University’s Girls Involved in Science & Technology (GIST) Program.
This summer, 29 middle school and high school students from Lakewood Township came to the GCU campus to participate in the one-week GIST program, taught by GCU faculty, staff, and graduate assistants in the math and science departments. The students examined the parts of the brain, the speed of sound with thunder and music, fat content of snacks, habits of the heart, aeronautics, forensic science, blood cells, and bones.
“The GIST Program is all about making learning fun,” said Program Director Sarita Nemani, Ph.D., chair of GCU’s Department of Mathematics. “GIST provides a unique and exciting way to make science, math, and technology interesting to girls at a young age. We are expanding possibilities for these young female students. GIST helps to inspire them to study the STEM fields in college and understand they have opportunities for successful careers in STEM.”
The courses and hands-on learning activities focused on a variety of subjects including biology, forensic science, computers, chemistry, statistics, osmosis, physics, math, and astronomy. Importantly, the program included a college preparation session for the high school students. GIST was created by GCU faculty in 2004 to excite the interest of girls in the STEM fields and provide female role models for the students.
The GIST students described the program as “a blast,” “very educational,” and “truly amazing.” Many of the students said the GIST program inspired them to attend college and several indicated the program inspired them to consider majoring in a science or math field.
The GIST 2015 program was funded by a $15,000 grant from the TD Charitable Foundation and a $3,500 grant from the Provident Bank Foundation.
Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is South Jersey’s only Catholic university. GCU is a comprehensive, coeducational university with a strong liberal arts core and an historic, special concern for women. As a forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, Georgian Court expands possibility for more than 2,300 students of all faiths and backgrounds in 30+ undergraduate majors and 10 graduate programs. The main campus is located at 900 Lakewood Avenue, Lakewood, New Jersey, on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court also serves students at New Jersey Coastal Communiversity in Wall and through multiple online certificate and degree programs.