If your daughter has turned your kitchen into a science lab or is constantly asking you to challenge her with math equations, it’s time for you (and her!) to check out StemBox. Created by Fred Hutch gene therapy researcher, Kina McAllister—who’s loved science since she was a kid—StemBox is a monthly subscription science kit especially designed for girls ages 7-13. So grab your safety goggles, fire up your Bunsen burner and read on for the scoop on this cool new subscription service.

stembox-dna

photo: StemBox

Future Scientists
Your kid could be the first human on Mars or design the vehicle that gets us there; discover a cure for HIV or cancer; or build the coolest virtual reality game ever! But, if she’s a girl, she’s a lot less likely to pursue a career in science—even if it’s her passion early in life. That’s where StemBox comes in. StemBox’s goal is to close the gender gap in STEM subjects. And it’s not just for the “science-y” type, exploring STEM subjects in childhood is a great confidence booster for girls, even if they’re not destined for a STEM career.

stembox-girl

photo: Christine Southam

Experiment Like a Girl!
Whether they’re extracting DNA from a strawberry, making a lemon battery or dissecting owl pellets, girls across Seattle (and beyond) are really enjoying StemBox. “Girls deserve real science kits that respect their ability and intelligence as budding scientists.” says Founder and Ceo, Kina McAllister. “We want to show girls just how girly it is to be into blood, guts, math and computers!” 

stembox-dna-kit

photo: StemBox 

How it Works
Each month, girls get an exciting (and super cool!) StemBox experiment delivered to their doorstep, plus all the equipment they need to carry it out. Be sure to read the protocol first (like all good scientists) and be sure to look inside the box for the collectible pin to commemorate each experiment you do. It’s lots of fascinating and (sometimes) messy fun.

stembox-owl-pellet

photo: StemBox 

Science is a Hoot
Did you know owls don’t have teeth, so they swallow their prey whole? After eating their dinner, they regurgitate the stuff they can’t digest – (like bones, fur and feathers) in the form of an owl pellet. It’s these pellets your little scientist will dissect in StemBox’s Owl Pellet Dissection experiment (don’t worry parents, they’ve been sterilized). The owl kit comes with safety glasses, gloves, two owl pellets, tweezers, a wooden probe, petri dish, magnifying lens and a bone map to identify the bones you find. It also comes with construction paper and glue in case you want to assemble the skeletal structures of the animals you uncover—just like in a museum.

stembox-owl-pellet

photo: StemBox

StemBox Workshops
Want to give StemBox a try? Check out one of the workshops they’re holding in our area. It’s just $35 and each attendee will get their own StemBox. Girls do the experiment in a lab with their fellow Steminists and with StemBox scientists on-hand to help out and provide plenty of inspiration. Keep an eye on StemBox’s Facebook page for details on upcoming workshops.

stembox-lemons-workshop

photo: Christine Southam

The Power of Lemons
When life gives you lemons…plug ‘em in. The StemBox lemon battery experiment uses lemons to power LED lights and a fruit alarm clock!

stembox-electricity

photo: Christine Southam

Become a Steminist!
StemBox was funded on Kickstarter just last year and has already made it to Time Magazine’s gift list and has been endorsed by Melinda Gates. It was Kina McAllister’s personal experience as a young woman in the competitive field of scientific research that inspired her to create StemBox. “Girls deserve the chance to explore more than the stereotypical girly toys they are offered in the pink aisle,” says McAllister. “Steminists are the next big thing and I can’t wait to see how many StemBox can make.”

stembox-kina photo: Christine Southam

StemBox Online
StemBox offers lots of cool stuff online from engaging tutorials for each month’s StemBox to interviews with the “Steminist of the Month” like Rosalyn the Raptor Keeper from Woodland Park Zoo. Check out their awesome YouTube channel.

stembox-strawberry-dna

photo: StemBox 

Whatta ’bout the Boys?
Can boys be Steminists too? It’s one of StemBox’s FAQ’s and as McAllister explains, “Science is for everyone! However, due to the lack of girls in STEM it is clear that action needs to be taken to reach out to girls who may not think science is for them by meeting them where their interests currently lie. And sometimes that means adding a bit of pink!” Nevertheless, StemBox loves to hear of boys asking for a subscription of their own. Workshops, however, are limited to girls only.

stembox-lemon-hands-up

 photo: Christine Southam

Subscription Prices
Month to Month: $36 (charged every month)
3 Month Pre-pay: $88 ($29.33/month)
6 Month Pre-pay: $170 ($28.33/month)

Psst! Sign up for their email list and get 10% off!

StemBox
Online: mystembox.com or on Facebook

Do you have a young scientist at home? Have you tried StemBox? Tell us about your experience in the Comments below!

— Helen Walker Green