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The GEMS and GISE programs are award-winning science programs that energize our students' excitement about the possibilities in cutting-edge science. We value the talent and innovation the programs developers and teachers bring to the Minneapolis Public Schools.

Girls in Engineering, Mathematics, and Science (GEMS), Guys in Science and Engineering (GISE), and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Academy are after-school and summer programs designed specifically for K-8th grade girls and boys (respectively) in the Minneapolis Public School District. The goal of these programs is for students to have measurable and significant gains in mathematics and science. Inaugurated in 1997, the success of GEMS prompted the development of GISE in 2006. The grades K-3 programs started in the fall of 2010.

These STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) programs are supported through the collaborative efforts of the Minneapolis Public School District, the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers, and Achieve! Twin Cities. Principal benefactors and community partners include:

  • The Cargill Foundation
  • High Tech Kids
  • NASA Glenn Research Center
  • Wilderness Inquiry
  • Urban Boat Builders
  • Science from Scientists
  • Minnesota STEM Partnership
  • Green Careers
  • Just B Solar
  • Solar Kidz
  • Camp Invention
  • SPARKZ Camp
  • PBL Works (Project Based Learning)




Melinda Stapley
Program Coordinator, GEMS/GISE/STEM

1250 W. Broadway Ave. 
Minneapolis, MN 55411

Fax: 612-668-5305

Program Overview

The GEMS-GISE-STEM Academies are after-school and summer school STEM programs designed specifically for Minneapolis Public School District students in Kindergarten through 8th grade.  The programs focus on explorations of science and mathematics through project-based and problem-based learning experiences promoting the integration of engineering and technology concepts, content, and process. Students that participate in GEMS-GISE enroll in a year-long after-school program that is comprised of two semester courses with an opportunity to continue learning in the six week summer K-8 STEM Academy.

Fall 2023- Robotics

In this exciting robotics class students learn mechanical design, construction, programming, and teamwork skills. In pairs, using LEGO  building elements, motors, and sensors, students build different robot prototypes and program them with a computer to move, react, and make sounds. Students will utilize their prototypes and programming to solve design challenges using the LEGO WeDo 2.0 or Spike Prime Robotic Systems. Students will participate in the 2024 Robotics FIRST Lego League Challenge: MASTERPIECESM on January 20, 2024.

Everyone depends on the transportation of goods for their daily needs.  How can you improve the transportation of products?  Students identify a specific problem within this them then create or improve a piece of equipment, a technology, or a method of transportation to solve the problem.  The student designed and programmed robots must activate mission models that represent transportation safety, efficiency, connection, and access in the challenge.

Spring 2024 – Aerospace Engineering & Rocketry

Explore Science and Engineering!  In these engaging and investigative classes students are immersed in the fundamentals of aerospace engineering and rocketry through an interactive problem-based approach.  Working in pairs, students solve a series of complex problems designing, constructing and testing a variety of aircraft.

GEMS-GISE-STEM students conduct hands-on investigations exploring aerospace engineering and related career fields.  Students explore this specialized field that includes the design of spacecraft and aircraft.  Discovering that air (navigating within the earth's atmosphere) and spacecraft (operating primarily in outer space, beyond the earth's atmosphere) are technologies that extend human potential to transport people and goods.  Students work and learn through exciting, project-based aerospace engineering activities designing, construction, testing, and troubleshooting as they work toward their final flight.



Educational Activities

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Program Staff

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(GRADES 1-5)





(GRADES 6-8)




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