The UAB School of Education has received a $340,000 grant from the Malone Family Foundation to support a new UAB project called Girls Engaged in Mathematics and Science (GEMS).

Through GEMS professors in the UAB School of Education will train teachers around Alabama to create math and science lesson plans that use methodologies that have been proven most effective in making girls feel confident about taking an active role in math and science classes rather than sitting back and letting the boys take the lead role in class, says UAB Assistant Professor Melanie Shores, Ph.D., who is the principal investigator on the grant.

Teachers involved in the project are learning how to incorporate interactive games, videos, podcasting and other technologies into their lesson plans, Shores said. The lessons created during a recent GEMS training workshop will be posted on the Alabama Learning Exchange (ALEX), an online Web portal by the state Department of Education that is a resource for teachers worldwide seeking lesson plans and ideas for teaching various subjects.

Next month, on Aug. 23, about 100 K-12 girls from Girls Inc. will visit the School of Education to try out some of the teachers' GEMS math and science lesson plans. UAB investigators will then survey the girls on which lessons and activities are most effective in sparking their interest in those subjects.