Gemstone Honors Program

News - Spring 2008

Team Needles Wins 2nd Place in the 50K Business Plan Competition!

May 21, 2008

Team Needles wins 2nd Place in the $50K Business Plan Competition, Undergraduate Student Division, an event that has served as a springboard for several local technology companies. More info...

Gemstone Hosts Maryland Day Tent

May 1, 2008

Students from the Gemstone Student Council (GSC), Sophomore Team MICE and Junior Team FASTR hosted a Maryland Day Tent. The GSC created a magnetic fishing game where children could use a fishing pole to "fish" for rubber ducks. Team MICE's table allowed participants to mold their own mouse of clay. Visitors to Team FASTR's table were able to use mapping software to find the most accessible routes around campus.

Overall the day was a huge success and a lot of fun!

Team FASTR Wins 2nd Place in the Vid/Terp Competition!

April 24, 2008

The Vid/Terp results are in, and the awards ceremony was held last night. Twelve videos were submitted for the contest, divided into three categories: Science/Engineering/Technology, Arts/Humanities/Society and Student experience. Team FASTR's video won 2nd place in the Science/Engineering/Technology category. View video page 17 on

More info...

Thesis Conference a Success

April 16, 2008

This year's conference was another great success on Friday, March 28th and Saturday, March 29th, where eleven very diverse teams presented their research, with topics in fields such as biology, engineering, social sciences, and many more. Every year, the team with the most clear, well-researched, and well-written thesis wins the Outstanding Gemstone Team Thesis Award which is announced during the Citation Ceremony in May.

Team iGEM Awarded Grant

April 9, 2008

Team iGEM was recently awarded a research grant by Becton-Dickinson for their research on microbial fuel cell research. In addition, they were awarded the Howard Hughes Undergraduate Medical Institute Undergraduate Research Grant.

Team VOTE-CP Attended Conference

April 9, 2008

In March, Team VOTE-CP attended and presented at IMPACT conference in Boston, MA. The team led a discussion on youth voting trends and what tactics are being used on campuses all around the country. The experience was remarkable, for the team not only shared its research with students, but also gained insight into how other college students are getting out the vote.

Gemstone Student Phillip Hannam 2008 Truman Scholar

March 27, 2008

University of Maryland junior Phillip Hannam has been awarded a Truman Scholarship the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation announced this week.

More info...

Prospective Students-Have a question about Gemstone?

March 3, 2008

Current Gemstone students will be available each week night from March 3rd to March 13th, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Just send a message to the screen name "askagemsquestion" to chat with a current Gemstone student and get all your questions answered!

Gemstone-Ellicott Service Committee Had a Great Fall Semester!

February 29, 2008

The Gemstone-Ellicott Service Committee (GESC)hosted a Knit-a-Thon to bring students together to knit blankets for premature babies. The blankets were donated to the Holy Cross Hosiptal. The event spanned two days, with knitting occurring late into the morning hours!

Group members solicited yarn donations from A Tangled Skein, a yarn store in Hyattsville, and from members of an online knitting forum. Students who attended the event knitted 6"x6" squares which were sewn together into 18"x18" blankets. Overall, nine blankets were complted!

The GESC also hosted a charity video game tournament to raise money for Toys for Tots. Participants could choose between two games-Super Smash Brothers: Melee and Halo 2. Students paid a $5 entry fee to play in the tournament. While the main tournament was running there was friendly free play set up, with Madden 07 and Soul Caliber 2. A variety of local business provided gift cards to be used at prizes during the event.

This semester, the GESC plans to sponsor a Relay-for-Life team, benefiting the American Cancer Society. In April the GESC will fundraise to buy backpacks and school supplies. The backpack drive will benefit local elementary school students who cannot afford to purchase supplies on their own.

The GESC meets on Wednesdays at 6 pm. Anyone interested in community service is invited to attend.