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As scientists and moms, we believe every girl is a scientist at heart. We make rigorous science kits to spark her curiosity in STEM.
As scientists and moms, we believe every girl is a scientist at heart. We make rigorous science kits to spark her curiosity in STEM.
Created by Kelly McCollum, Marcie Colledge, and Amy Compton.
As scientists and moms, we believe every girl is a scientist at heart. We make rigorous science kits to spark her curiosity in STEM. Created by Kelly McCollum, Marcie Colledge, and Amy Compton.
524 backers pledged $33,141 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Yellow Scope: A Different Kind of Science Kit for Girls

$33,141

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Change the message. Change her world.

"Science is not for girls." That's the wrong message for our girls to hear. We know that inside every girl is a scientist, but over time, girls pick up on societal cues that tell them that science is not for them - it's for boys. This message is reinforced in the toy aisle, where chemistry and physics kits are marketed to boys and pseudoscience "spa" kits are marketed to girls.

Girls lose confidence. And miss opportunities.

In 4th grade, most girls say they like science. But by 8th grade this number drops dramatically as girls lose confidence in their ability to do science. This trend continues beyond school. Although women make up 48% of the total workforce, they make up only 24% of science jobs.

Science is for girls. 

At Yellow Scope, we want to build girls' confidence in science before they fall off the curve. Research shows that girls learn best when they can approach projects in a creative and open-ended way. That's why we designed our kits to engage both the scientific and creative minds of girls. The experiments are rigorous, and there is plenty of room for girls to draw their observations and doodle their ideas in their very own lab notebook.

STEM and the leaky pipeline.

STEM is the acronym for science, technology, engineering, and math. There has been a lot of talk about the gender imbalance in STEM and the "leaky pipeline" - a term used to describe the loss of girls and women at every step along the path to STEM careers. We want to fix the leak early, while girls are still confident and enthusiastic about science.

Science Kit Cover
Science Kit Cover

Our kit:

  • is targeted for girls 8 - 12 years old, when interest in science is most vulnerable
  • aligns with Next Generation Science Standards
  • includes supplies for dozens of experiments

Key concepts:

  • Molecules and molecular motion
  • Chemical reactions
  • Temperature in chemistry

Included in the kit:

  • Lab notebook (which is really a lot more than just a lab notebook...) It's a sketch pad - reference guide - doodle book - and lab safety & instruction manual. In a nutshell, it's a place to learn, experiment, wonder, design, and create. And it's really cool. (See photos below.)
  • Safety goggles
  • 3 Beakers
  • Thermometer
  • Timer
  • Stirring rod
  • Candle
  • Citric acid
  • Sodium bicarbonate
  • Colored pencils
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Red, yellow, and blue colored dye
  • Red, yellow, and blue citric acid/sodium bicarbonate tablets
  • Mini pencil with eraser and logo
  • Chalk cloth/lab mat (phthalate-free)
  • Chalk
  • Collectible chemistry badge
Earn Your Collectible Chemistry Badge. Future kits (Biology badge, anyone?) will come with different badges that girls can pin on their backpacks or lab coats.
Earn Your Collectible Chemistry Badge. Future kits (Biology badge, anyone?) will come with different badges that girls can pin on their backpacks or lab coats.
Lab Notebook Cover
Lab Notebook Cover
Lab Notebook Excerpts
Lab Notebook Excerpts

Real science girls doing real science:

Lab Mat Included in Kit (Phew!)
Lab Mat Included in Kit (Phew!)

What's Currently on the Market?

We dare you to Google "science kits for girls" images. Go ahead, open another window and do it. We did this the other night, and here's what came up: 

Screenshot of Google search for "Science Kits for Girls" Images - Can you see us in the bottom right corner?
Screenshot of Google search for "Science Kits for Girls" Images - Can you see us in the bottom right corner?

There are a couple of good kits that come up in the search -- including Roominate, which is a really great toy (go Alice and Bettina!) And we're really excited that our kit showed up. However, take a look at the overwhelming majority of the science kits that are targeted specifically at girls. This is what the toy aisle offers our daughters, nieces, granddaughters, and friends. The world may tell girls that they can be anything and do anything. But the real message is that they should focus on their appearances, and that rigorous science is not for them.

Reward Details:

Artwork for our limited edition buttons
Artwork for our limited edition buttons
The lab coat embroidered with our yellow microscope
The lab coat embroidered with our yellow microscope
These are the three science girls (and their lab rat friend) that you can help name in the NAME THE SCIENCE GIRL reward
These are the three science girls (and their lab rat friend) that you can help name in the NAME THE SCIENCE GIRL reward
Chemistry 101: The ultimate science party
Chemistry 101: The ultimate science party

Reasons to support us on Kickstarter today:

  • You will be the first to own the Foundation Chemistry kit. Our product is unique; there are no products currently on the market like this. 
  • You will send the message that girls can do anything - especially real science. 
  • You will help get real science into the hands of your daughter/niece/granddaughter/friend. 
  • You will help fix the leaky pipeline, so girls in STEM will become women in STEM. 
  • Kickstarter perks! Need we say more? 
  • We ask for your pledge so that we can get volume discounts, finish up the graphic design for the lab notebook, and cover start-up printing costs.
  • If this really takes off, your pledges will help start us on the path of a whole line of science kits for girls. After our Foundation Chemistry Kit, we plan to develop a series of kits in different subject areas - Physics, Biology, Earth Science, Coding, and more. For each subject area, we will create several kits on different topics, and at different price points. As a backer, you will receive exclusive updates on our new products.
  • If you believe in our mission, and you want to change her world, please share this on Facebook using the convenient button just below our video at the top. 
  • And please tweet this to the world. (Handy hashtags are #girlsinSTEM #womeninSTEM #STEM #MakerEd #LikeAGirl and maybe you could throw in #GirlPower)
  • Thank you for considering our project!

Yellow Scope in the News:

Founders Marcie and Kelly in the Portland Tribune
Founders Marcie and Kelly in the Portland Tribune

A Special Shout Out to:

  • Portland Development Commission for the Startup PDX Challenge Grant
  • MercyCorps Northwest for their support of small businesses by offering great business classes and resources
  • Debbie Sterling for blazing the trail in the girls' toy aisle
  • Alex Marler for her amazing design work
  • Themios Carabas, Jon & Brendan Hays, and Paige West for getting our website up and running
  • Lindsay Nelson and Theme Dragon for creating our animated video
  • Bill Horton for his business acumen
  • Laurie Price for her support and advice for our mission-driven startup
  • Michael Schmitt for his photography and cinematography
  • Amy Hamden, party-planner extraordinaire at Parker+Paige Events, for her creative brilliance 
  • Jeff Lovinger for his legal advice and for writing up our many Yellow Scope contracts
  • A pre-emptive thank you to Chip McCollum for delivering some of the Lablandia Chemistry Kits by bike

Additional thanks to other special contributors:

Alameda Science Team, Kirsten Allen, Jef Atwood, Adeline Backer, Marnie Backer, Diana Bianco, Veronica Bianco, Christine Boyd, Matt Compton, Maximum Compton, McKenzie Compton, Kristina Day, Amy Donohue, Lena Dutta, Manju Dutta, Pat Farley, Dave Fierek, Diane Fleck, Jennifer Heilbronner, Mike Heilbronner, Kathy King, RJ Kirkland, Ann Kollrack, Billy Lau, Alice Lovinger, Audrey Lovinger, Darcy Lovinger, Sharon Lovinger, Adam McCollum, Hannah McCollum, Michaela McCollum, Alison Mollet, Dave Mollet, Katie Morrison, Katie O'Dell, Reed Odette, Erica Perez, Donnette Sands, Kurt Sands, Greg Shaw, Leah Starr, and Trupp HR.

*** Sorry, no shipping outside of the U.S. and Canada at this time. Kits will be delivered by March 2015. *** 

 Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. Follow us on Pinterest. Follow us on Instagram.

Risks and challenges

Potential hurdles for us relate mostly to the fact that we are sourcing a large number of items from many different suppliers. We've tried to source as many things as possible from local and domestic suppliers, but some things we've had to find internationally. There could be possible supply delays due to problems with production and/or shipping. To deal with this, we have found a primary AND secondary source for every item in the kit. And we have the option of expedited shipping on all items except one. We've preordered that item so that we would have some on hand. We are working with the manufacturer to ensure that there will be no delays, but in the event that there are, we've found that particular item at a different supplier, but at a much greater cost. If we need to, we will purchase it at the higher cost and learn from our mistake. Thanks for considering our project!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    BEAKER MONEY -- Help fill her beaker with your change. Give anywhere from $1 - $24. You will receive updates on our project as we go. Thanks for helping to change her world!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    RAINMAKER -- You are passionate about our mission and want to be a part of this revolution. Give anywhere from $25 to $500. You will receive updates on our project, and we will add your name to our website Wall of Fame to prove you were here at the Big Bang.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    LABLANDIA -- A little local love for the first 300 people living in Portland, Oregon who pre-order their science kit. We will hand deliver your Foundation Chemistry Kit along with 5 limited edition buttons featuring our science girls, lab rat, and logo. Put a bird on it! (Disclaimer: actual bird not included; for backers within 15 miles of Yellow Scope World Headquarters: 119 SW Ash St. Portland, Oregon)

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    BEAKERS AND BUBBLES -- You will receive your Foundation Chemistry Kit along with 5 limited edition buttons featuring our science girls, lab rat, and logo. (FREE shipping within the U.S. Please add $10 to ship to Canada. No other international orders available at this time.)

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    SCIENCE GIRL -- You will receive the Foundation Chemistry Kit and 5 limited edition buttons featuring our science girls, lab rat, and logo, as well as a LAB COAT embroidered with our yellow microscope. Once our project is funded, we will send you information on how to order your scientist's lab coat size - kids' sizes 8, 10, 12, and 14. (FREE shipping -- even to Canada, eh?! No other international orders.)

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $135 or more About $135

    SCIENCE SYMPOSIUM -- You will receive THREE Foundation Chemistry Kits, and 3 sets of limited edition buttons featuring our science girls, lab rat, and logo. (FREE shipping in the U.S. only. Sorry, no international orders. Not even Canada.)

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    HELP US NAME OUR GIRLS & THEIR LAB RAT FRIEND -- In addition to receiving your Foundation Chemistry Kit, a limited edition set of buttons, and an embroidered lab coat, you will be part of the process TO NAME our 3 illustrated science girls & lab rat, who will be featured in the really cool lab notebook that comes with the kit. We will contact you after the campaign is over to enter your suggested names, and then we'll give you a link to vote on the final contenders later on. It's kind of like having the chance to name an element, except a little bit different. (FREE Shipping -- even to Canada, eh?! Sorry, no other international orders.)

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    NOBEL PRIZE IN CHEMISTRY -- You know that Girls + Science = a Positive Reaction. You want to be the catalyst in this reaction. In addition to a shout out on social media and adding your name to a special Nobel Prize section of our website Wall of Fame to prove you were here at the Big Bang, you will receive a genuine Yellow Scope Nobel Prize Medal. (Disclaimer: this is NOT a real Nobel Prize; FREE shipping anywhere in the world.)

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    CHEMISTRY 101 PARTY -- Our founders Kelly and Marcie, along with party planner extraordinaire Amy Hamden of Parker+Paige Events, will bring an all-inclusive party to your house. The party will feature hand-selected chemistry experiments, a decorative sweets table with candy molecules, atomic cookies, and more. Balloons, party decor and snacks included. The guest of honor and up to five friends will receive a special take-home experiment from Yellow Scope. Makes a fabulous birthday party. The guest of honor will also receive the Foundation Chemistry Kit, limited edition buttons, and embroidered lab coat. Party date to be mutually agreed upon within a year of project funding. (For Portland, Oregon residents only.)

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Funding period

- (49 days)