Girls in Science Initiative

SCI's Girls in Science Initiative aims to empower and equip girls in science, technology, engineering and math.

Research shows that while women are attending and completing college at higher rates than ever before, they represent only 26% of the college-educated workforce in science and engineering occupations, according to the National Science Board. The Science Center of Iowa wants to help change that. SCI’s Girls in Science Initiative was created in the hopes of inspiring the next generation of female STEM professionals.

Rarely are students taught about the accomplishments of female scientists, nor do they see their portraits hung on the walls of classrooms. The Girls in Science Initiative seeks to introduce girls to female STEM professionals that are in the workforce right now. These successful women, representatives of an ever growing minority in STEM, are available to lend advice to the participants.

SCI’s Girls in Science Initiative provides a rare opportunity for girls to meet and connect with female mentors and role models in an array of disciplines. SCI is on a mission to develop a diverse 21st century workforce, and that starts with empowering and equipping girls in science, technology, engineering and math today.

Girls in Science Events

Meals with Mentors (Grades 7–12)

November 9, 2023 (6:00 – 9:00 pm)

This is a more formal evening event where we pair up school age girls in grades 7-12, female college students in the STEM fields and female STEM professional for an engaging evening here at SCI. Attendees will be served a plated dinner and participate in conversations about how STEM is important in their lives and career.

We are asking participants of this event to commit to attending one of two “Meet Ups”. Previous participants expressed they wanted the opportunity to get together again. So we have identified two dates for the “Meet Up” – Saturday, December 2, 2023 from 10:00–11:30 AM and Saturday, January 20, 2024 from 10:00–11:30 AM. Both “Meet Up” dates will include facilitated activities in the Innovation Lab and the chance to explore the museum.

This event is free for girls to attend

Girls in Science Festival (All Ages)

February 17, 2024

Interested in learning more about science, technology, engineering and math? Girls and families of all ages are invited to SCI's Girls in Science Festival to explore a variety of STEM careers and connect with female role models. This an event for the general public to celebrate the ways that girls/women have made contributions to science as well as ways the science and STEM are a part of everyone lives. There will also be workshops available for more in-depth experiences.

If you are a university, business, organization or club, interested in hosting a table with interactive activities for our visitors during our Girls in Science Festival, please contact GirlsInScience@sciowa.org.

Festival activities are included with SCI general admission.

SciGirls®: Invent (Grades 4-5)

2024 Dates TBD

Do you have big ideas to solve the world's problems? Can you build, test and collaborate? Come join us for a fun-filled week of invention!

STEM Learning Goals: Using the engineering design process, build creations to expand engineering skills and knowledge of the design process.  

SciGirls is designed to give girls space to explore STEM in a new type of environment. SciGirls camps look to broaden girls’ STEM participation, build a positive STEM identity, increase their understanding of STEM learning goals, and experience wonders through STEM activities.

The Science Center of Iowa is an official SciGirls® museum. Based on the best practices in STEM education for girls, SciGirls’ videos, online resources, hands-on activities and professional development work together to address a singular but powerful goal: to inspire, enable and maximize STEM learning and participation for all girls, encouraging greater interest in these careers.