NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - The G.E.M.S (Girls Excelling in Math and Science) program is opening its’ doors at Somerset School in North Plainfield to all grade 5 and 6 female students. The program is being presented and advised by Mrs. Kaitlyn Jaffe, science instructor and Ms. Marcelle Farhat, math instructor at Somerset School.
Mrs. Jaffe and Ms. Farhat know firsthand the importance of providing opportunities for young women to have fun with math and science. “G.E.M.S will be a place where girls can try things that either will not or cannot be done in regular classroom sessions.” Said Jaffe and Farhat. “Members will be able to explore engineering, a subject that is not yet incorporated into the 6th grade science curriculum.”
G.E.M.S is structured to provide an opportunity for girls to delve into a world of higher level math and science that will challenge the girls without putting any undue pressure on them, because they do not have to pass a test on it. Using critical thinking skills, the members will explore and fail and start again without the pressure to get the one right answer. The program is designed to allow the students to discover and get messy in hands-on activities. They will get dirty, use tools, mix stuff up, and generally DO the science that is not possible to do during school.
The G.E.M.S program is designed to inform and inspire girls toward potential careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Throughout the academic year, members will be exposed to guest speakers who currently work in the science and math fields, which will include government agencies, local industries and corporations. The G.E.M.S. students will also be traveling off campus throughout the year, making visits to institutions of higher education to witness their STEM program.
According to Jaffe and Farhat, as educators, we have sadly learned over the years, you cannot learn science or math or technology without the science, math, or technology, and that is what the G.E.M.S experience will provide. Our overall goal in G.E.M.S will be to encourage girls to pursue STEM fields for courses and careers. G.E.M.S will focus on five overarching goals that will drive girls towards success: INVITE, ENTICE, ENCOURAGE, EXPLORE AND EXPERIENCE