GEMS club

North Brook Elementary School Principal Jennifer Carroll and second grade teacher MaryEllen Eaker guide Aliyah Garcia, 8, Addison Beard, 7, and Addy Heustess, 8, during a GEMS club meeting.

The was sun, wind and rain wiggled and giggled inside the North Brook Elementary School library last Thursday. Weather doesn’t actually giggle but the members of the GEMS club did as they acted out elements of the water cycle during a presentation by Lincoln County Soil and Water Conservation District Director Patty Dellinger.

The Girls Engaged in Math and Science (GEMS) club meets monthly and focuses on STEM topics for second grade girls. MaryEllen Eaker, who initiated the club this school year, said parents and students alike were very excited by the new club.

“Girls love the club,” Eaker said. “They would love to come every week if they could.”

Their hope is that the club will help young girls develop their natural abilities and interests in STEM topics. The program invites women who have STEM related jobs, like Dellinger. Next month, their speaker will be a local beekeeper who will show them how to make soap and lipgloss.

After acting out the water cycle, the group made terrariums from halved 2-liter Sundrop bottles. Dellinger walked them through each step, quizzing them along the way. Dozens of hands shot up for each question. Their excitement was palpable. With help from Eaker, Principal Jennifer Carroll and club coordinators Sarah Anthony and Pam Bethancourt, the girls created terrariums to house succulent plants.

Raylee Baxter, 8, said she likes science and math is her favorite subject. Her favorite part of GEMS is how it challenges her.

“Last GEMS club, we had to pick up cups with pencils, popsicle sticks, and string,” Baxter said. “It was hard to let them not fall because we couldn’t touch them with our hands.”

Trinity Osborne, 7, echoed Baxter’s love of the challenging aspect of GEMS. Her favorite activity so far was the Red Cup STEM Challenge.

“Whenever I come to school, if there’s anything very hard like the plants, I know what to do because I did something hard before,” Osborne said. “I’m going to keep these plants in my room because I have a little brother and he’ll just dump this all over the place.”

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