STEEM Collaborative 

Inspiring Women in STEEM

Support our Scholarship Fund

Become a Mentor

About STEEM

Science, Technology, Engineering, Environment, Math

Empowering Future Generations of Women in STEEM Fields

Today’s youth hold the key to creating a better future for preserving our natural resources and outdoor spaces. However, STEEM-related careers are still male-dominated, thus making it necessary to encourage and support middle-school female students in their pursuit of these fields. Cultural perception plays a significant role in shaping the narrative of women in STEEM fields, creating a systemic barrier towards educational opportunities and career development. Our STEEM team aims to challenge these perceptions by providing inclusive educational experiences that celebrate women and underrepresented communities in STEEM fields. Our goal is to bridge the gender gap and create a welcoming environment that inspires the youth of Missoula to pursue their interests in STEEM fields.

STEEM Collaborative Pillars

Summer Institute

The Summer Institute focuses on a different STEEM topic each week. Activities include hands-on experiential learning opportunities with leaders in STEEM fields, practice in science communication, and setting personal goals for professional and academic careers. 

After School Program

COMING SOON

The STEEM After School Program offers a space through the school year for cohorts to meet with role models, engage in hands-on science, and deepen their passion for STEEM fields. Click the link below to learn more and register.

STEEM Mentors

Diversity in STEEM professions begins with education and visibility. Our STEEM Team strives to provide opportunities for participants to meet, learn from, and engage with female professionals in STEEM fields. If you are a STEEM professional and want to be involved, consider becoming a mentor!

Community Engagement

We encourage our STEEM program participants to focus current efforts on helping and improving our immediate community. Think Global, Act Local. 

2024 Summer Institute

Summer Institutes are for girls going into 6th-8th grade and run from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. They are located in the Health Sciences Building at the University of Montana.*

*Some institute weeks have different hours, locations, and costs. Please see below for more detailed information.

2024 Summer Institute Registration is now open!

2024 Dates and Themes
Conservation & Wilderness Management

DATE: JUNE 17-21

COST: $295 for members, $315 for non-members.

NOTE: This camp week has an overnight element. We will be camping Thursday night on a conservation land easement.

This camp is dedicated to fostering a love for nature, scientific inquiry, and the critical role that STEEM disciplines play in conservation efforts.

Participants in this camp will embark on an exciting journey, exploring various aspects of conservation through hands-on activities, field trips, and engaging workshops led by experienced mentors. From understanding biodiversity and ecosystems to learning about endangered species and habitat restoration, girls will gain a deep appreciation for the importance of preserving our planet’s natural treasures.

Our camp emphasizes the intersection of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in addressing conservation challenges. Girls will have the opportunity to explore cutting-edge technologies used in wildlife tracking, conservation mapping, and environmental monitoring. Through interactive experiments and real-world applications, they will develop practical skills and a solid foundation in conservation science.

Field trips to local conservation sites, land easements, and wildlife reserves will provide participants with firsthand experiences and insights into the diverse ecosystems around them. Guest speakers, including female leaders in conservation, will share their journeys, encouraging girls to envision themselves as future champions for conservation and wilderness management.



Ecology

DATE: JULY 15-19

COST: $265 for members, $285 for non-members

This empowering and innovative camp is specifically designed for young minds passionate about making a positive impact on our planet. Get ready for a week of inspiration, exploration, and hands-on learning as we delve into the crucial field of climate science.

Throughout the camp, participants will embark on a journey to understand the challenges posed by climate change and the innovative solutions that contribute to building resilient communities. Engaging workshops, interactive experiments, and insightful discussions led by experienced mentors will empower girls to explore the intersection of science, technology, engineering, environment, and mathematics (STEEM) in addressing climate-related issues.

Our camp goes beyond the classroom, providing opportunities for real-world applications. From field trips to climate-resilient projects, girls will gain practical insights into how STEEM plays a pivotal role in creating sustainable and resilient solutions. Work collaboratively with like-minded peers, and be inspired by guest speakers who are leading experts in the field of climate resiliency.



Zoology

DATE: July 29 – August 2 

COST: $265 for members, $285 for non-members

This camp is tailored for young girls with a passion for wildlife, biodiversity, and the exciting field of zoology.

In this camp, participants will embark on a thrilling adventure, diving deep into the realms of animal biology, behavior, and conservation. Engaging workshops, hands-on activities, and interactive sessions led by experienced zoologists will provide a comprehensive understanding of the diverse and incredible creatures that share our planet.

Girls will have the opportunity to explore anatomy, physiology, and taxonomy through exciting experiments and dissections. From learning about the adaptations of different species to understanding animal habitats and ecosystems, the camp offers a holistic approach to zoological sciences.

Field trips to wildlife research areas and natural habitats will provide participants with firsthand experiences and opportunities to explore wildlife. Guest speakers, including accomplished women in the field of zoology, will share their expertise and inspire girls to envision themselves as future leaders in the study and conservation of wildlife.



Hydrology

DATE: August 12 – 16

COST: $265 for members, $285 for non-members

Immerse yourself in a hands-on, engaging experience that explores the fascinating world of water science. This camp is a unique opportunity for young minds to discover the wonders of hydrology – the study of water distribution, movement, and properties.

STEEM girls will embark on a journey of scientific discovery through interactive experiments, field trips to local bodies of water, and engaging workshops led by experienced hydrologists. From understanding the water cycle to exploring the impact of human activities on water resources, girls will gain valuable insights into the importance of water conservation and sustainable practices.

Our Hydrology STEEM Camp is not just about learning in the classroom; it’s about fostering curiosity and building skills through real-world applications. Participants will have the chance to collect water samples, analyze data, and speak with scientists in the field. Through teamwork and hands-on experiences, they will develop problem-solving skills and a deeper appreciation for the crucial role water plays in our environment.



Register Here

Apply for a Scholarship

The Montana Natural History Center is dedicated to making programming accessible and is able to provide partial scholarships for the STEEM Summer Institute. Click the button below to apply.

Apply Here

Our Mission & Approach

Empowering Middle School Girls in STEEM Fields through Mentorship and Education

The STEEM Collaborative is dedicated to providing middle school girls with opportunities to develop their skills and build confidence in science-related fields. Our STEEM Team offers high-quality educational experiences that encourage growth and interest in these fields. One of our flagship programs is the Summer Institute, where girls can participate in fun activities, work with mentors, and collaborate to find creative solutions to environmental issues.

Our goal is to provide an opportunity for equity in the STEEM fields for girls and other underrepresented communities. Through mentorship and education, we aim to close the gender gap by building confidence and competence in these fields.

Hours of Education

As our STEEM program gains interest, we have been able to increase the amount of Summer Institute Programs we are leading. Between 2022 and 2023, we have provided over 150 hours of hands-on and experiential education.

STEEM Summer Institute Participants

Our 2023 STEEM Summer Institute saw an increase in participants. We connected with 23 STEEM enthusiasts this summer.

Partners

In 2023, we partnered with over 25 different organizations and entities to bring in strong female mentors to meet with our STEEM participants.

Get Involved

There are many ways that you can get involved with the STEEM Collaborative. Reach out to Alyssa Giffin, our Camps Coordinator, to find out more.

fbodnar@montananaturalist.org

Reflections from a STEEM Sister

I loved the Limnology Camp! One of my favorite activities was when we caught and learned about aquatic macroinvertebrates. The fish hatchery was cool. We got to see fish at different stages of development and preserved, deformed fish. The campout was a lot of fun! The walking tacos were a hit as we bonded overnight. I liked learning about the Flathead Lake Monster and the stories about it saving children and dogs. We had a great campsite and got to go paddle boarding.

Overall, we spent a lot of time in the water. Emma and Caitlin were excellent camp counselors. I thoroughly enjoyed Limnology Camp and look forward to returning next year.

Cassidy Parks

Cassidy Parks

Our Partners & Sponsors

  • Climate Smart Missoula
  • Clark Fork Coalition
  • PEAS Farm
  • Neptune Aviation
  • Soil Cycle
  • spectrUM Discovery Area
  • Submittable
  • Thunder Road Farm
  • Upcycled
  • University of Montana Flight Lab
  • HomeReSource
  • Montana Mycological Association
  • SciShow
  • Missoula Fire Sciences Lab
  • National Wildlife Federation
  • Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks
  • Wind River Bear Institute
  • Jocko River Trout Hatchery
  • Trout Unlimited