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. 

Participants look through microscopes at a spring 2018 Girls in Science class

Participants view leaves through a microscope during a spring 2018 Girls in Science class at the Burke.
Photo: Arryn Davis/Burke Museum

Girls in Science participant works in the Burke fish collection.

A Girls in Science student works in the Burke fish collection.
Photo: Arryn Davis/Burke Museum

Participants in the spring 2018 Girls in Science class study leaves

Students use clear nail polish to take leaf impressions and study them under a microscope to determine a stomatal index, which indicates present or past CO2 levels.
Photo: Arryn Davis/Burke Museum

High School Program
Winter 2019 Session
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 every day at UW. This winter, girls will have an opportunity to investigate the Burke's plant collections at the Herbarium! Girls will learn about plant morphology and traits important for plant identification, they will make and mount herbarium collections, they will create scientific illustrations of their specimens, and they will compare herbarium specimens with fossils from the Burke’s paleobotany collection to reveal what the Pacific Northwest would have looked like millions of years ago. 
Ages: Grades 9–12
Cost: FREE (assistance with bus passes available upon request)
Session Dates: Six* Tuesdays from 4:30-6:30 pm; January 29, February 5, February 12, February 16, March 5, and March 12.
Apply: Applications for the Winter 2019 session are open through January 1!


*Applicants are expected to attend all six sessions. Participants must re-apply for each quarter in which they wish to participate. Space is very limited, so please apply for a later quarter if you are unable to commit to all six sessions. 
Middle School Program
2018/19 School Year
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 Sunday each month to learn from female scientists at the Burke Museum and the University of Washington. Together, they will examine fossilized plants, learn to measure light, discover how the brain works, and more. This is a need-based program. Though all are welcome to apply, Girls in Science strives to serve students who are unfamiliar or struggling with science and curious to explore! 
Ages: Grades 6–8
Cost: FREE 
Session Dates: One Sunday each month from 9:30 am – 12:30 pm; October 21, November 18, December 9, January 27, February 24, March 17, April 28, May 19.
Apply: We are no longer accepting applications for the 2018/19 school year. Applications for the 2019/20 school year will open in late summer 2019!

For questions, please contact us at 206.543.5591 or

Program Supporters

Cooper-Newell Foundation


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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