StemBox, Science Fun Delivered Directly to your Doorstep
Owl Pellet StemBox arrives in the mail
Monthly subscription boxes are all the rage — from beauty boxes to treats for your pets, there’s something for everyone. Now there’s a monthly science box for girls. Seattle-area biologist Cristina “Kina” McAllister has developed StemBox, a monthly science subscription box, aimed at girls between the ages of 7 and 13. StemBox’s goal is to grow girls’ interest in STEM related-activities through experiments, videos and other resources.
The kits change monthly and feature fun experiments such as dissecting owl pellets, strawberry DNA extraction and lemon batteries. Subscriptions are $30 on a month-to-month basis, with discounts given for three-, six- and 12-month pre-paid subscriptions.
McAllister, a research tech at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, created StemBox after realizing what a huge gap there was for women in STEM leadership. Women currently comprise only 13 percent of the engineering profession and 25 percent of the computer and mathematical professions in the workforce. McAllister has always been enthusiastic about science; she used to beg her parents to buy her lab kits, which were always disappointingly aimed toward boys. She gave a well-received Ignite talk in 2013 and decided that it needed an actionable follow-up. Shortly thereafter, StemBox was born.
“The key to closing the gender gap in STEM is to reach out to girls while they are still young, and counteract the social cues that too often discourage women from sticking with STEM.” said McAllister. “I also think that STEM is empowering for girls, regardless of whether or not they go on to pursue it as a career. Each time I learn a new STEM concept, I feel like I can take on the world, and that’s ultimately how I want girls to feel when they get their StemBox each month.”
McAllister launched her successful Kickstarter campaign last July to fund her dream, and the company shipped out their first subscription boxes this January to more than 700 subscribers.
Each StemBox is carefully tested in monthly workshops; McAllister and her team take the boxes out for a test run before sending them out to subscribers. March’s box is a lemon battery, and McAllister noted that some of the girls had a hard time understanding the concept. “To me, the important thing was that they were getting exposed to it, and even if they don’t understand it, then that is OK, but they are exposed to it,” said McAllister. “When they are exposed to it again, it won’t be the first time. And that is what I want.”
StemBox has a video series to accompany each box’s theme. Each month they produce three videos — one to show the box, one interviewing a woman working in a STEM role and one with some background on that month’s topic.
mystembox.com Monthly subscriptions $30