NewsKern's Kindness


GEMS program inspires young girls to pursue careers in STEM fields

Funded by Women and Girls Fund of Kern County
Posted at 5:42 AM, Jul 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-01 08:42:29-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Girls excelling in math and science. That’s what you’ll find at GEMS Camp.

"Hoping to inspire them to pursue STEM careers around the idea to catch them while they’re young and foster curiosity and wonder in them about all things science and engineering," said Michelle Roy.

Roy is the science coordinator for the Kern County Superintendent of Schools. She helped create the camp for 4th and 5th grade girls at the CALM Zoo.

“Research says that women in general are quite underrepresented in STEM careers and in the STEM profession in general," said Roy.

GEMS is helping change that. A $25,000 grant from the Women and Girls Fund of Kern County is funding the program, all in hopes of sparking an interest in STEM fields at a young age.

Students from around Kern County lead the girls in activities like observing wildlife, dissections and guest speakers. This summer session is the kick off for more STEM programs throughout the next year.

“At this point, seeing it really come to fruition and knowing that the community already is rallying behind the work and thinking about moving forward and going even bigger," said Roy.

Roy said she’s thrilled to see GEMS turn into a reality and can’t wait to see the girls pursue their goals.

“Inspired beyond belief, right? You know, a couple of years of just this dream of being able to affect change in our community and really [inspire] some students," she said.

The summer sessions are now closed but keep an eye out for their after-school program in the fall.