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

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. This winter, participants will have an opportunity to investigate natural history under the guidance of Genetic Resources Manager Sharon Birks, Invertebrate Zoology Collections Manager Melissa Frey, and Mammalogy Curator Sharlene Santana. Over the course of six sessions, participants will learn to take precise shell measurements, analyze mammal skulls to identify morphological adaptations, and go behind the scenes to explore the Burke's vast ornithology, malacology, mammalogy, herpetology, and genetic resources collections.

Ages: Grades 9–12

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

Session Dates: Mondays from 4:30 – 6:30 pm, 1/29, 2/5, 2/12, 2/26, 3/5, and 3/12. 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. 

Apply: Applications are now closed for winter 2018. The application deadline was January 11.

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. 

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

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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