Girls in Science

Hands-on science for middle and high school girls

Designed to inspire the next generation of researchers and engineers, Girls in Science connects elementary, middle, and high school girls with female scientists from the Burke Museum and the University of Washington. These programs aim to offer real-world experiences in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to girls who may not otherwise have access to these opportunities. 

Girls in Science Technology participants

High school participants in the Girls in Science Technology program learn coding language during "Hour of Code" in December 2015.
Photo: Burke Museum

A girl preps a leaf in order to take a closer look under a microscope

A girl preps a leaf in order to take a closer look under a microscope.
Photo: Burke Museum

Microscope and painted nails

The program is designed to build confidence in middle school girls at an age when participation in STEM subjects often drops.
Photo: Richard Brown Photography

Girls in Science at coast

The applied science of Girls in Science happens both in the Burke's labs and outside.
Photo: Lora Shinn

Burke scientists teaching Girls in Science participants

Dr. Caroline Strömberg, the Burke’s curator of paleobotany, assists Girls in Science participants.
Photo: Richard Brown Photography

Middle School Program

The Middle School Girls in Science program provides a collaborative and supportive environment for girls in grades 6–8 to explore a variety of STEM fields such as oceanography, neuroscience, paleobotany and spectroscopy. Participants meet one Saturday each month to learn from female scientists at the Burke Museum and the University of Washington. Together, they do activities like examine fossilized plants, learn to measure light, discover how the brain works, and more. Girls in Science strives to serve students who are unfamiliar with science and curious to explore! 

Ages: Grades 6–8

Cost: FREE 

Session Dates: One Saturday per month from 9:30 am - 12:30 pm during the 2017-2018 school year: October 21, November 18, December 9, January 20, February 24, March 17, April 21, May 12. 

Apply: Applications for the 2017-2018 school year are now closed. The application deadline was September 30. 

High School Program

The High School Girls in Science program gives girls in grades 9–12 the opportunity to be a part of the groundbreaking research that's happening everyday at the Burke Museum. Participants in this quarterly program meet after school every Monday for six weeks to take an in-depth look at a particular field of study at the Burke. Girls will explore what the Burke’s vast research collections can tell us about our past, present and future! 

This fall, High School Girls in Science will be taking an in depth look at the museum’s ichthyology collection.  Housed in the University of Washington Fishery Sciences building, this collection is one of the largest in the world; featuring over 4,000 different species! Under the guidance of Burke Icthyology Collections Manager Katherine Maslenikov, girls will work to document and identify specimens using a wide range of scientific tools and techniques such as scientific illustration.

Participants from previous quarters may apply, however, preference is given to new applicants. Before applying, please carefully consider if you will be able to attend all six sessions. If you know you'll miss more than one session due to a conflict, please consider applying for a different quarter.

Ages: Grades 9–12

Cost: FREE (assistance with bus passes available upon request)

Session Dates: Mondays from 4:30 – 6:30 pm, 10/23, 10/30, 11/6, 11/13, 11/27, 12/4. Each quarter is a new topic and a new application cycle. Participants must re-apply for each quarter in which they wish to participate.

Apply: Applications for Fall 2017 are now closed. The application deadline was October 9. 

Summer Camp Program

The Burke Museum also holds a weeklong summer camp for girls entering grades 5–7 to explore hands-on science with Burke Museum and University of Washington female scientists. Visit our Camps page to learn more!


For More Info

Burke Education
Phone: 206.543.5591

Program Supporters

The development of Girls in Science is in part supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. EAR-1253713. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed here are those of the Burke and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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