Campus News

UK to Celebrate 10th Anniversary of Engineering Outreach Program For Girls


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 6, 2014) — The University of Kentucky will host the the 10th annual Girls in Engineering, Math and Science (GEMS) event Saturday, Nov. 15.  Registration begins at 10 a.m. followed by the opening ceremony in the UK Student Center's Worsham Theater. Later sessions will take place in various buildings on campus.

Last year, nearly 300 Girl Scouts and Juliette Scouts from Kentucky and Ohio packed the Worsham Theater for the outreach event. 

“We want to encourage girls who are thinking about their career goals to consider the field of engineering,” said event coordinator Vicki Cooper. “GEMS introduces girls to several technology based career options.”

The keynote speakers will be Janet Lumpp, associate director of NASA Kentucky Space Grant Consortium and EPSCoR Programs and a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UK, and Lesa Roe, deputy associate administrator at NASA. Roe will join the keynote via Skype and will answer the girls' questions about the space program.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to visit various workshops facilitated by UK faculty, students and staff, as well as organizations and companies outside of UK that are interested in STEM outreach events. Activities such as, “Cosmetic Chemistry,” “Roller Coaster Physics” and “Alice in Programming Land” will enable girls to interact with engineering and computer science concepts in new, fun ways.

Presenters are from a variety of areas including: UK departments of Chemistry, Plant Pathology, Physics and Astronomy, and Family and Consumer Sciences; UK Center for Applied Energy Research; Alltech; Ashland Oil; Greensource; and Kentucky Science Center.

UK College of Engineering Associate Dean for Administration and Academic Affairs and Gill Eminent Professor in Chemical Engineering Kimberly Ward Anderson anticipates another outstanding event.

“GEMS is a fantastic opportunity for girls at a young age to learn about opportunities in the science and engineering fields,” said Anderson. “It gives them an awesome hands-on experience with the hopes of motivating them at an early age to prepare for college careers in these areas. They not only experience science and engineering, but also get to interact with some of our outstanding UK women students who serve as excellent role models.”

In addition, three parent workshops have been added to the schedule. The presenters will be from the Kentucky Department of Education and the UK College of Engineering.

This year’s event will be sponsored by Time Warner Cable, Kentucky American Water, Toyota, and LG&E and KU.

To view the full schedule, or to find out more informaiton, go to or contact Vicki Cooper at or 859-257-8042.

MEDIA CONTACT:  Whitney Harder, 859-323-2396