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We're hosting our Girls Empowered with Math and Science (GEMS) Workshops for girls ages 8-15. Studies have shown that most girls lose interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by age 15. Our GEMS Workshops are aimed at providing girls with hands-on activities and experiences to keep them involved in STEM. Each month, GEMS will study the work of a renowned female scientist while engaging in hands-on lessons. GEMS is a free drop-off program that is fun, educational, and shows the numerous ways STEM topics can be pursued both in their future educations and as potential career pathways. If we support a young woman in STEM, then she can change the world.


Second Saturday of Each Month • October 2022-May 2023

​10:30 am- 12:00 pm


Fort Walton Beach Library

185 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE

Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548

Cost & Registration
Workshops are free

Pre-registration is recommended so that there are enough materials

To register, please call the Fort Walton Beach Library at 850-833-9590


Program Sponsored By

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Upcoming Workshops 2022-23*


October 8: Sylvia Earle/Marine Biologist

Time to dive deep into the field of marine biology. GEMS will learn all about what lies in the deepest depths of the ocean and conduct experiments on various water samples to determine what healthy waterways should look like. GEMS will also learn about Sylvia Earle and her work to protect and revitalize the world's oceans as well as ways they can protect our waterways and the sea creatures that reside in it.

November 12: Rosalind Franklin/Chemist & DNA Researcher

GEMS will conduct an experiment to learn how to extract DNA just like the woman who discovered structure of DNA, Rosalind Franklin. They will also test out their jewelry-making skills by creating a DNA Model Necklace, then finish off the class by making a heredity cootie catcher game. Use this to test your workshop mates on their DNA knowledge. We will also have one of our animal ambassadors in attendance who we named after one of Rosalind Franklin’s fellow researcher!


December 10: Janet Iwasa/Molecular Animator

Have you ever wondered how things move and interact that we can’t see? Scientist Janet Iwasa has dedicated her life to animating biological molecules into how her and other scientists hypothesize them to interact. In this GEMS lessons, students will learn how to make a stop motion animation film using Playdough, explore the “Molecular Flipbook” app created by Janet, and make a paper animation craft to take home.

January 14:  Lauren Esposito/Arachnologist

Do creepy crawlers like spiders and scorpions pique your interest? For this GEMS workshop, learn all about our arachnids with research thanks to scientist Lauren Esposito. GEMS students will further expand their knowledge on these creatures by participating in activities that incorporate an arachnid’s habitation, their skeletal system, and their zootoxins.


February 11: Inge Lehmann/Earth Scientist/Seismologist

Have you ever felt the Earth shake and wondered what was happening? In this workshop, GEMS will learn about seismologist Inge Lehmann’s research on seismic wave data and how it affects the Earth’s interior. GEMS will engage in various seismology activities that teach students about the Earth’s structure, earthquakes, and how to measure seismic waves. 

March 11: Corina Newsome/Ornithologist

Flap, fly and flock on over to the Fort Walton Beach Library to engage in a lesson all about birds! During this workshop, GEMS will learn about ornithologist Corina Newsome’s research on Seaside Sparrows and how these sparrows affect our ecosystem. GEMS will also engage in various bird-themed activities that teach students about basic bird biology, bird identification, ecology, and conservation. 


April 8: Tiera Guinn Fletcher/Aerospace Engineer

Get ready to blast off into space! GEMS will be learning about Tiera Guinn Fletcher, who is a lead aerospace engineer for NASA, working on the Space Launch System. During this workshop, GEMS will engage in various aerospace engineering activities and learn how to design, build, and plan structures fit for space exploration.


May 13: Laura Boykin/Computational Biologist

Have you ever wondered what a supercomputer is, and what they are used for? In this GEMS workshop, students will learn all about computational biologist Laura Boykin. She uses supercomputing and genomics to help farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa. GEMS will practice their own computational biology skills as they engage in hands-on activities to learn all about coding and genomics!


​​*Workshop themes are subject to change depending on guest speakers. Stay tuned to this page for updates.

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