UK Hosts Nearly 300 GEMS

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On Saturday, November 16, 2013, the University of Kentucky hosted the 9th annual GEMS (Girls in Engineering, Math and Science) event. Nearly 300 Girl Scouts and Juliette Scouts from Kentucky and Ohio packed Worsham Theater for the outreach event, which was sponsored by Kentucky American Water, Toyota, Michelin and LG&E/Kentucky Utilities.

“We want to encourage girls who are thinking about their career goals to consider the field of engineering, so GEMS introduces girls to several technology based career options,” said event coordinator Vicki Cooper.

Participants had the opportunity to attend 15 different workshops facilitated by UK engineering faculty, students and staff. Activities such as “Juggling Algae Balls,” “Lego Mindstorm Robotics” and “Alice in Programming Land” were designed to engage girls with engineering and computer science concepts in fun ways.

Associate Dean for Administration and Academic Affairs and Gill Eminent Professor in Chemical Engineering Kimberly Ward Anderson was the keynote speaker and her presentation invited several questions from the girls in attendance.

“GEMS is a fantastic opportunity for girls at a young age to learn about opportunities in the science and engineering fields,” said Anderson. “It gives them an awesome hands-on experience with the hopes of motivating them at an early age to prepare for college careers in these areas. They not only experience science and engineering, but also get to interact with some of our outstanding UK women students who serve as excellent role models.”