While most GEM activities were put on halt in 2020, “Smart City 2020” in Vilnius took off to a great start
GEM project officially takes a break until March 2021
The spread of COVID-19 has left an imprint on the professional as well as everyday life around the world. Logically, the realisation of the GEM Project (Empower Girls to Embrace Their Digital and Entrepreneurial Potential) 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 to 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, however. They are still subject to change. Nonetheless you can find them here already.
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. Read more…
Smart City 2020 – the first GEM summer school in Lithuania
In Lithuania, the Institute of Educational Sciences of the Faculty of Philosophy of Vilnius University is implementing the GEM project. As one of the project activities, the summer school „Smart City 2020“ was organized by the faculty on August 3-6, 2020. The school’s program aim was to motivate girls to pursue a career in STEM subjects and to encourage active participation in European research, innovation, entrepreneurship and digital literacy. The selection process for the summer school took place from March 2020 to July 2020, even though there were certainly worries about whether the situation with COVID-19 would allow the safe execution of a summer camp. Fortunately, circumstances were favorable, so on August 3rd the summer school was able to get started.
In the creative process.
Girls can STEM too!
Throughout the week, 30 girls aged 12-14 participated in various STEM activities, discussing the careers of entrepreneurs and researchers. Girls listened with great curiosity to the impressive professional success story told by Daiva Viskontienė, the General Manager of the „Business Machinery Company“. During the video conference, girls interacted with the scientists of UAB „Thermo Fisher Scientific Baltics“, Dr. Birute Gagiliene and senior biotechnologist Viktorija Žepnickaite. There was an active discussion about the professional career of researchers and the activities of the company. The school was not limited to in-classroom STEM activities, however. Girls also went to the VU Botanical Garden and the VU Life Sciences Center Zoological Museum. During the trips, with the help of tour guides, the students delved into the world of flora and fauna. The project promoters are grateful to Thermo Fisher Scientific Baltics for funding trips to the VU Botanical Garden and Zoological Museum.
At the end of the school, presentations of the project participants’ works – projects created with Arduino – took place: from a soil moisture meter to a smart home. It was good to notice that girls surprised themselves and enjoyed the work they had created. It became clear that in addition to active practices, the school had an extremely friendly and working atmosphere at the same time. At the end, girls were sad that the school had to end so soon.
Throughout the time together, girls were cared for by the project executor Prof. Valentina Dagienė, Dr. Aušra Kynienė, Dr. Anita Juškevičienė, Dr. Asta Meškauskienė and volunteer students Agata Radiūnaitė, Erika Eitmantytė, Martyna Vilutytė.
And here is the result.
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.