Empower Girls* to Embrace their Digital and Entrepreneurial Potential

Girls* can STEM too!

GEM (2020-2022) is a European Union co-funded pilot project, aiming to encourage girls’ interest in STEM and ICT subjects and inspire them to choose careers and become entrepreneurs in these fields. To achieve this goal, the project consortium will organize exciting cost-free summer camps for girls aged 12-18  and establish a wide reaching network of schools, higher education institutions, companies and policy makers, thus supporting girls in pursuing these careers.


The spread of COVID-19 has left an imprint on the professional as well as everyday life around the world. Logically, the realisation of our GEM Project is also affected by the many restrictions of everyday life. Closed schools, limited access to universities or other public places, as well as travel restrictions currently present challenges to the completion of the project aims for 2020. We had set our minds to reach girls and spark enthusiasm in them for STEM, information and communication technology subjects. We wanted to do achieve this by organising summer camps and building a Europe-wide network in support of girls pursuing careers in these sectors.

Wanting to implement the project in its full potential without taking the risk of spreading the virus further, we decided to postpone the first round of summer camps until summer 2021, followed by a second round of camps in 2022. Therefore, our GEM project is currently taking a break until March 2021. We are excited to present the preliminary descriptions of each of the summer camps taking place next year soon, however.

Only our GEM project partners from Lithuania were able to organise a first summer school in Vilnius in the summer of 2020. They made sure to take the necessary preparations to meet the pandemic with caution. After intensive planning, many considerations and very low corona infection rates at that time, the summer school “Smart City 2020” was a first success.

To find out more you can visit the other sections of this website or subscribe to our newsletter to receive news concerning GEM comfortably into your mailbox, including the latest activities like the summer camp 2020 in Vilnius.

WHY do we need this project?

Around half of Europe’s population is female, yet only 15% work in tech sectors and even less, 2,4% in ICT related fields. Only around 20% of the females are entrepreneurs. The untapped source of female technology, innovation and entrepreneurial potential leaves Europe with a huge and growing gender and skills gap in these sectors. Education certainly is the most important lever to enable and encourage girls to pursue studies and careers linked to STEM, particularly information and communication technology (ICT), and entrepreneurship.

WHAT are the activities of the project?

Higher education institutions from 11 European countries will organize summer camps for girls, piloting various learning activities, which specifically support the development of a diverse range of STEM related and personal skills. Skills that enable girls to contribute to Europe’s digital innovation processes. We induce encouragement through raising the girls’ interest and confidence. Therefore, we put a particular focus on challenging stereotypes, highlighting inspirational role models and offering participating girls a possibility to enjoy themselves in the context of STEM and enjoy STEM.

Another side of the coin is to enable society to encourage and support girls in pursuing STEM and ICT carriers. Therefore, a long-term European network connecting actors from various STEM education, digital and entrepreneurial spheres will be established. Members of the network will run diverse awareness-raising activities among society to address impending issues, to demonstrate the need and ways to support girls and to inform girls about their options.

Project Consortium

Our consortium consists of 11 higher education institutions. Together with collaboration partners from business, policy and education providers in each country, the consortium is drawing from an unbeatable mixture of STEM education expertise, STEM/ICT subject knowledge and transnational project experience.

  • University of Education Freiburg, Germany
  • University of Nicosia, Cyprus
  • Charles University, Czech Republic
  • University of Jaen, Spain
  • National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
  • Vilnius University, Lithuania
  • University of Malta, Malta
  • Utrecht University, Netherlands
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
  • Jönköping University, Sweden
  • Constantine the Philosopher University, Slovakia

Key Data

Name: Empower Girls to Embrace their Digital and Entrepreneurial Potential (GEM)

Type of Action/Programme: Pilot Project & Preparation Action Grant

Name of the call: Girls4STEM in Europe

Co-Funding: 346 450 €uro, European Commission

Coordinator: International Centre for STEM Education (ICSE),

Project duration: 2020 – 2021

There are many different ways to get involved in the GEM project. Whether you are a female-identifying student, who is interested in attending a summer camp, a respresentative of the business, policy, or educational sector, who wants to connect to others in order to strengthen girls’ future in STEM and ICT, or someone (eg. a higher education institution or a school) interested in hosting a summer camp:

Here you can find out more about how to get involved in GEM!

I want to participate in a Summer Camp

We will be offering two rounds of GEM project summer camps in 11 different European countries: Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Slovakia.

By May 2021 you will find information on the summer camps taking place in summer 2021. You will be able to look at the learning plans and find information on how to become a participant. Another round of camps will take place in year 2022, more information will be added by May 2022.

Explore more information about the camps:

I want to become a part of the GEM network and support girls in choosing STEM careers

Here you will find a detailed action plan of the network by the end of the year 2021.

If you are a representative of a school, a higher education institution, a company or policy making, you are welcome to join the GEM Network. Being a part of this network, you will be able to encourage, inspire and support girls on their journey towards STEM and ICT professions through meaningful actions. Gain an honorary award for supporting the girls and let society know that you stand for equal opportunities for girls in STEM! If you are interested, please get in touch with our network coordinator Sona Ceretkova.

I want to organize a Summer Camp

Here you, as a higher education instiution or school, will find detailed guidelines on organizing STEM/ICT summer camps for girls  by the end of the project.

This project is co-funded by the European Union under grant no. LC-01380173. The European Union/European Commission is neither responsible for the content nor liable for any losses or damage resulting of the use of these resources.

*We acknowledge that there is a gender spectrum beyond the male-female binary. We use the word “girl/s” inclusive of all individuals, who self-identify as female. We explicitly encourage and invite trans and inter individuals, self-identifying as girls, to participate in the GEM summer schools.

Do you have any questions?