This project from the University of the Incarnate Word, U.S., allowed Girls in Engineering, Math and Science (GEMS) to host all female afterschool robotics clubs at three schools from two school districts within Bexar County. Each afterschool club was equipped with robots and computers. The grant funding enabled snacks for each weekly club meeting, dinners for evening practices, breakfasts and lunch for weekend competitions, and transportation to and from the competition. The students would remain after school each week for an hour or two depending on the school-specific meeting times, and the grant funding provided snack options to students who have food scarcity within their community. As competitions came closer, students would remain at school longer, and the grant provided dinner and drinks.
The GEMS student population served consisted of female students from age 10-14 years in elementary and middle schools. Each of the students are from lower income areas of Bexar County from three schools, and several are considered homeless and are being raised by grandparents. One school served by the grant resides in an area of San Antonio lacking proper grocery stores, known as a food desert. GEMS teachers stay beyond their school day to work with these students. Challenges in the program included lack of understanding about the program, particularly after the pandemic, and inflation costs in food and fuel. The impact of this grant provided a fun, safe and innovative learning environment for young females to explore robotics and programming. In each club meeting, the students would work together to create an Innovative Project, construct the code to complete modules, and build a cohesive team. By removing obstacles that would prevent students from not attending, GEMS was successful in all aspects and achieved recognition at the FLL competitions.
We are happy to announce that two out of three school clubs achieved awards at competitions, one receiving first place with their Innovative Project and top-scoring in Gracious Professional, securing them a place in FLL Regional competition. The second school achieved third place in the Innovative Project and the Motivation Award. The impact of the grant provided a fun, safe and innovative learning environment for young females to explore robotics and programming.
GEMS in the news!
Shining GEMS video!
Highlighting all the fun memories from FIRST LEGO League practices and competitions. https://www.minigems.org/
GEMS Social Media!
So many memories were made. Here are few images from the miniGEMS afterschool clubs. Check out the miniGEMS website for many more memories! https://www.minigems.org/minigems-photos