For Immediate Release                      Contact:   Gail Towns              or           Tara Strickland
                                                                                   732.987.2266                          732.987.2291
                                                                                    gtowns@georgian.edu         tstrickland@georgian.edu

GCU's GIST Program Receives Grant from TD Charitable Foundation

Program Provides Hands-On Science Education for Lakewood Girls

Lakewood, N.J., Jan. 7, 2010—The TD Charitable Foundation recently granted Georgian Court University $7,500 for GCU’s GIST (Girls Involved in Science and Technology) program, a summer program dedicated to inspiring girls from the Lakewood public schools and helping them sustain a serious interest in natural sciences and mathematics. The grant will help ensure that this important program continues in the summer of 2010.

Nationally, gender inequality is a major factor contributing to the underachievement of women in science education. According to a study by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), girls receive inequitable science and math education, both in quality and quantity compared to that of boys. The university’s historic commitment to women led GCU faculty to develop GIST to meet the needs of young women and to specifically address issues of inequality in science education.

GIST is a weeklong program of activities designed to excite the natural curiosity of female students and to demonstrate the importance of science in their daily lives. The 2010 program will build upon and refine the summer program introduced in the summer of 2004 and refined each summer since, with the exception of 2009 when no program was held. Students participate in 35 hours of experiment-based learning developed in consultation with the science teachers from Lakewood Public Schools. GCU faculty, in collaboration with Lakewood science teachers, have designed scientific experiments for students to pursue in the areas of biology, ecology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, science applied to criminal justice, and computer science.

The program emphasizes hands-on, inquiry-based activities with minimal time devoted to lectures. Since research has shown that girls are more attracted to and become engaged in cooperative learning situations, all activities focus on teamwork and collaborative learning among participants. Students entering grades 8 to 12 (a total of 60 students) are invited to attend the program.

About Georgian Court University
Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is a comprehensive university with a strong liberal arts core and a special concern for women. A forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, Georgian Court serves over 3,000 students of all faiths and backgrounds in a residential Women's College and a coeducational University College with undergraduate and graduate programs. Georgian Court's main campus is located at 900 Lakewood Avenue, Lakewood, N.J., on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, now named a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court also offers classes at its site at One Woodbridge Center in Woodbridge, at Coastal Communiversity in Wall, and at Cumberland County College in Vineland.

About the TD Charitable Foundation
The TD Charitable Foundation is the charitable giving arm of TD Bank N.A., which operates as TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, and is one of the 15 largest commercial banking organizations in the United States. The foundation's mission is to serve the individuals, families, and businesses in all the communities where TD Bank operates, having made over $53 million in charitable donations since its inception in 2002. The efforts of the foundation are coordinated locally through TD Bank's community relations departments and are focused on the areas of affordable housing, education and financial literacy, and the environment. More information on the TD Charitable Foundation, including an online grant application, is available at www.TDBank.com.

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