Gender Equity in Materials Science (GEMS) Camp

Everything is made of materials. From buildings to batteries, clothing to cars, we depend on materials for many things in our everyday life. Materials science and engineering (MatSE) is all about understanding the structure and properties of materials ranging from the atomic scale to the macro-scale. Join one of our outreach opportunities to learn more about materials science!

GEMS Camp (Gender Equity in Materials Science)

GEMS Camp photo from 2018

For rising 10th – 12th graders [EAGER*]
July 24th – July 30th, 2022 (Residential & Commuter) Applications due March 15, 2022

All camp applications are submitted through Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering Program. 

Apply to GEMS

In GEMS Camp, you may discover:

  1. The Materials Science of Chocolate and Superheroes
  2. Advanced manufacturing methods ranging from composite fabrication to casting to 3D printing of structural and functional materials
  3. Biomaterials including prosthetics, bone scaffolding, and cell mechanics
  4. Crystallography via state-of-the-art characterization tools and modeling methods
  5. and Materials for sustainable energy solutions including material life cycles, batteries, and photovoltaics


*EAGER camps
 are mission-driven camp sessions led by Engineers Aiming for Gender Equity & Representation in STEM majors and careers. These camps focus on support and empowerment of traditionally excluded populations in STEM. The absence of their talents is a detriment to the STEM fields. EAGER camps provide a safe environment to build a community of peers and mentors who empower one another to be confident in their exploration of STEM. All are welcome to apply.

Another activity I enjoyed was the ceramic brick project. I felt like the MATSE professors and students did a great job of giving a project that had to do with other engineering majors, such as civil and structural for the bricks.”

--2019 MatSE camper

Check out past iSTEM articles about GLAM/GAMES Camps:

Educator Resources

Find GEMS Resources

Our summer camp structure comes from years of feedback and continual modification. It is unique in that in incorporates three things:

  1. A centralized theme to connect the entire week’s activities
  2. A design project woven throughout the week to encourage implementation of new skills/topics learned
  3. Individual modules covering a wide range of topics to peak interests within a broad audience

Jessica Anne Krogstad

Camp Coordinator

Professor Jessica Krogstad received her PhD in Materials at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2012. Her research focuses on material performance in extreme environments (like gas turbine engines and nuclear reactors). Professor Krogstad joined the Materials Science and Engineering Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the Fall of 2014 as an Assistant Professor, but she’s no stranger, having received her BS from the department in 2007. Fun fact: she worked as a Counselor when she was an undergraduate at the University of Illinois!

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