Elizabeth VandenburgElizabeth Vandenburg has worked in the field of STEM educational outreach and advocacy since 1994.  She is the Outreach Director for Girls Excelling in Math and Science (GEMS) Club initiative which has grown from one club—Fairfax County Public Schools to hundreds of communities nationwide and internationally. GEMS was recognized by the Clinton Global Initiative and recently expanded its reach into middle schools. She focuses her work on outreach to underserved girls in Northern Virginia.

In 2001 Vandenburg raised funds to produce a show entitled “Tech Savvy Girls” based on research from the American Association of University Women.  She built a partnership with Fairfax County Public Schools and the Fairfax County Office for Women.  The program was telecast nationwide on FCPS Apple 21; the project subsequently received a $100,000 dissemination grant from the National Science Foundation to expand it’s audience and to create a Spanish translation.

In 2009 Vandenburg co-founded the Mid-Atlantic Girls Collaborative (MAGiC), a National Science Foundation funded project charged with promoting STEM equity.  In that position, she built a strong leadership team and champions board and oversaw mini-grant funding for local grassroots projects.  MAGiC continues it’s important mission in the Mid-Atlantic Region.

Vandenburg, a Nova Labs member—maker space in Reston—initiated a Girl Maker program to bring more girls to the table. 

GEMS and the Nova Labs Girl Maker project are proud recipients of support from the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia's Innovation Fund.