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.
Each summer, middle school and high school students from Lakewood Township come 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 examine 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 focus 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.
Donors in recent years have included the TD Charitable Foundation and the Provident Bank Foundation, among others.
Updated July 2018.