STEM Gems Club
Stephanie Spencer, K-5 STEM Teacher
After listening to author and keynote speaker, Stephanie Espy, at the Georgia STEM Forum in Athens I knew we needed a STEM Gems Club at Sagamore Hills. Stephanie Espy wrote the book, STEM Gems: How 44 Women Shine in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, And How You Can Too! I returned from the conference and excitedly shared my idea with our principal, Julie Taylor. Mrs. Taylor and I firmly agree that students need to be exposed to a large variety of possible STEM careers in their early years. As Stephanie Espy says, “You can’t be, what you can’t see!”
I registered our Club on The STEM Gem site and asked our fifth grade teacher, Kristin Moehlich to join me as a sponsor of the club. The following Monday we started our STEM Gem Club with the book I had purchased at the conference. We have met every Monday during lunch since the conference in 2017.
Our fifth grade girls meet every Monday during lunch and read about a new STEM Gem each week. We watch short video clips about the amazing women featured in her book. We read about the STEM Gem of the week and discuss what motivated her, what she did that motivates us, how she overcame adversities and use
the study guide questions on the website to spark conversations. The overarching theme throughout the book is hard work. Most of them will tell you that they are not geniuses, they just worked hard!
On Tuesday, February 20, 2018 we were fortunate to have Stephanie Espy visit our STEM Gem Club. She spoke to the girls for over an hour. The girls peppered her with questions about her career as a chemical engineer, things she had to overcome, why she wrote the book, how she remained confident in a career with only male colleagues and many more. She reminded the girls that they need to ask questions, work hard and be sure to find mentors along the way. Stephanie Espy visits our club every year to motivate a new generation of STEM Gems
The STEM Gems Club is now in our 3rd year. Every month we have a guest speaker.
STEM Gems: Guest Speakers 2019-20
October Stephanie Espy, STEM Gems author and Chemical Engineer
November Rita Nahta, Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology with joint appointment as Assistant Professor, Department of Hematology & Medical Oncology at Emory University School of Medicine
Ambika Burda, Civil Engineer and Construction Engineer and Management
January Lara Baldwin, Art Director in advertising: DDB Needham, New York City; Ogilvy & Mather, Atlanta; TG Madison, Atlanta
February Jennifer Spencer, Clinical Research Coordinator, Emory Vaccine Research Clinic
March Viola Lanier, PhD, a biomedical scientist with a focus on cancer research
April Gem Bianca George, an engineer at CERM, a construction management firm
May Misty Bentz, Associate Professor, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, Georgia State University
Stephanie Espy’s book is a must for girls in grades 5-12. It will change the way your students feel about STEM careers. It is highly motivating and instills the idea that hard work pays off.
Check out our Girls in this Article!