Santa Fe Institute

Project GUTS: Growing up Thinking Scientifically

Project GUTS—“Growing Up Thinking Scientifically”—is a summer and after-school science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) project for middle school students throughout New Mexico.

Growing up thinking scientifically means learning to look at the world and ask questions, develop answers to the questions through scientific inquiry, and design solutions to their problems.

Project GUTS Website

Project GUTS is for students students entering 7th and 8th grade from all different backgrounds and interests who want to engage in scientific inquiry by investigating topics of interest to their local communities. The program is free to students, but enrollment is limited. During the 2010-2011 school year Project GUTS clubs will meet at selected schools in Albuquerque, Artesia, Deming, Edgewood, Las Cruces, Las Vegas, Los Lunas, Rio Rancho, Santa Fe, and Socorro. 

Program Activities

  • Summer workshop: Intensive two-week immersion workshops give students an in-depth look at complex systems, models and simulations, as well as let them create computer models from scratch.
  • After school sessions: During separate, stand-alone four-week GUTS club sessions, students investigate a problem, interview experts, gather data and run computer modeling experiments. They are assisted by Project GUTS instructors and high school peer mentors in customizing models to reflect local conditions. Students do not have to attend the summer sessions to be able to enroll in the after school program.
  • Website/Online Dialogs and Roundtables: Students contribute to their GUTS club website, conduct online dialogs and share information. At Roundtables that bring together Project GUTS club members, students present their work, compare models and share findings.

Project GUTS is a collaboration between the Santa Fe Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge, the Santa Fe Public School district, Santa Fe independent schools, science-related local businesses, and local informal science centers. Project GUTS is hosted by the Santa Fe Institute and is funded by the National Science Foundation, the Bengier Foundation, the Los Alamos National Bank, Lockheed-Martin Foundation, the New Mexico Public Education Department Math and Science Bureau, New Mexico Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (NM-EPSCoR), the Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation, and by private donors.