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Pre-Engineering Academic and Career Exploration Community for Girls in Engineering, Math & Science

Objectives: The PEACE GEMS Community project seeks to:

1. Develop and prepare for industry the future workforce in STEM, particularly in engineering and computer science.

2. Advance an integrated model of evidence-based STEM learning opportunities for the public in informal learning environments; and

3. Develop a mentorship framework to involve faculty, current university students, and near-peer mentors.


Focus on underrepresented Young Women: Specifically, we broaden participation of students who identify as female (whom we refer to as young women in this document) in engineering and computer science career preparation by providing multiple pathways into the computer science and engineering fields’ multiple areas of specialization. We collaborate with community organizations, industry groups, and higher education partners to deliver special programming in academic support, career internships, and mentoring in a cohort-based model.

2019 Pilot Summer Camp:

In the summer of 2019, 16 rising 9th grade young women attended the pilot summer camp for PEACE GEMS. This cohort enjoyed learning together in retreat style at Texas State University and by visiting and engaging with local industry hosts and community partners. Each of these young women indicated a strong interest in STEM, specifically in engineering or computer science. They participated in 5 days of programming on campus at Texas State University or at local community centers with integrated career presentation days at local industry partner sites.

2021 Corporate Sponsored Camp:

The 2021 program will be expanded to include a new cohort of students for a total of 32 young women. In the Spring of 2020, we will begin recruiting a new cohort of 16 8th grade young women (who will be rising 9th graders for the Summer College program) by holding events at local community centers and by communicating with schools and family groups in the area. Additionally, we will reach out to the 16 rising 10th grade young women who attended last year to attend year 2 of the cohort-based summer camp. Students will participate in 7 days of programing on campus at Texas State University or at local industry partner sites.

Picture of a group of happy women wearing NASA shirts