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Building Confidence: Girls in Engineering, Math, and Science Visit Bethel

Annual event brings 135 fifth graders to Bethel for hands-on learning opportunities to increase their understanding and excitement about science, math, and engineering related fields.

By Cherie Suonvieri '15, content specialist

April 26, 2019 | 9 a.m.

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On Saturday, April 6, Bethel welcomed 135 fifth grade students to campus for the annual Girls in Engineering, Math, and Science (GEMS) event. Each participant attended three of six faculty-led sessions designed to facilitate an interactive learning experience in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Some of the topics included forensics, fractals, city planning, neurobiology, and nursing.

“The goal is for the girls to leave with a positive perspective on the STEM fields and to generate some excitement about learning more in these fields,” says Amy Gorowsky, laboratory and safety coordinator for the chemistry department.

Some activities included solving a mock crime by using chromatography to compare lipstick samples, designing miniature roller coasters, studying parts of the brain and their functions by building a construction paper model, and interacting with educational tools in Bethel’s nursing lab.

Small groups of students were led from one activity to another by their mentors—female Bethel students from the physics, biology, math, chemistry, and education departments. The mentors shepherded the GEMS students throughout the sessions, took them to lunch in Monson Dining Center, and helped them reconnect with school representatives at the end of the day. 

The fifth graders came from three STEM schools in Anoka: Champlin-Brooklyn Park Academy for Math and Environmental Science, Monroe Elementary School - Mathematics, Science and Children's Engineering, and University Avenue Elementary School - Aerospace, Children's Engineering and Science.

“We want the girls to feel confident in their ability to develop new skills and gain more knowledge in the STEM fields,” Gorowsky says. “We’ve heard that the girls look forward to this event all year and really have positive experiences.”

Study at Bethel.

Bethel offers a variety of majors in the STEM fields, including engineering, nursing, chemistry, biology, physics, neuroscience, and more. Visit the Bethel website for a complete list of majors and minors.

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