Why Choose GEM?

The Growing Early Minds (GEM) program was created for our youngest learners and was unique in that we offered two opportunities to participate during the year: our traditional in-person summer camp and a Winter GEM session on five consecutive Saturday mornings in February and March. We are excited to announce the creation of the fully online Virtual GEM Winter Program in Winter and Summer 2021! It is our hope that this new option will afford more students the opportunity to participate in all that GEM has to offer!

Students will be exposed to new concepts to feed their curious minds. Pacing is flexible and offers a combination of synchronous discussions and pre-recorded segments. Each class is small (up to 15 students) and crafted to enrich learning and introduce new areas of interest, helping students expand their knowledge about the world and discover how much there truly is to learn. Social and emotional curriculum components focus on fostering autonomy, encouraging the development of a growth mindset and beginning to developing effective collaboration skills.


The Virtual GEM program runs for five Saturday mornings in February and March and five consecutive days in the summer. The course features a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning. All synchronous learning meetings will take place 9 – 10:30 a.m.

What to expect?

As a GEM student you will engage in, and be inspired by, an area of your curiosity. You will face new academic challenges with like-minded peers and have the support of your instructor. You will learn to become more independent as a learner and increase your confidence when approaching challenging academic tasks. By the end of the program, you will improve your understanding of your strengths, your talents, and yourself. It is our hope at WCATY that you will continue to challenge yourself and grow as a lifelong learner.

View the GEM 2021 Student Handbook (coming soon).

For Parents

Please review the Virtual GEM Student Handbook carefully with your child, as this handbook provides information regarding our online platforms, class expectations, troubleshooting online issues and much more.

Safety and Security

All live online GEM lessons are led by a GEM instructor and monitored by a member of the Badger Precollege administrative team or educational assistant.

GEM Instructors

Many GEM instructors return to teach year after year and bring with them their passion for their chosen fields, as well as their passion for educating advanced learners. Backgrounds of our instructors vary widely—from seasoned classroom educators, to innovative professionals eager to share their knowledge with our students, to aspiring academics seeking to broaden their community outreach skills.