GEMS: Girls Excelling in Math and Science, Fairfax County, Virginia

Fairfax County, Virginia – This story is part of the Powerful Signals Radio Series. Just three weeks ago, International Education Week was celebrated. This year's theme was International Education: Improving Student Achievement Around the World. One of the major events was a live downlink between the crew of the International Space Station, and students at Thomas Jefferson High School in Virginia. Why that particular school? Well, Thomas Jefferson is a Virginia Governor's School, dedicated to excellence in mathematics, science and technology in education. It was no accident Thomas Jefferson school was honored with that distinction. Fairfax County, Virginia has been home the past ten years for GEMS - Girls Excelling in Math and Science. It's an after school club for girls that's so popular, it's been doubling in size each year. Student's academic performance is being researched and tracked from the age of ten, right on through Thomas Jefferson High School. Richard Paul reports from Virginia. (14:48)Featured in story: Laura Jones, Researcher, Author and GEMS creator, Clearview Elementary School, Fairfax County Public Schools, Virginia; Ray Leonard, GEMS Teacher, Glasgow Middle School, Fairfax; Sandi Connelly, Guidance Counselor, Thomas Jefferson High School, Fairfax; Myra Thayer, Science Coordinator, Fairfax County Public Schools; Lauren Gilchrist, Student, Thomas Jefferson High School; plus several other student and mentor voices *(For listeners interested in seeing more about the GEMS Club, visit the Girls Excelling in Math and Science website: .) Also visit the Women In Science ON THE AIR! website at Powerful Signals: Transforming the Role of Women and Girls In Science and Engineering was made possible by support from the National Science Foundation.