Why do we need Girls in STEM?

171111jk GirlsSTEM 072According to the National Education Association, “girls who learn in all-girl environments are believed to be more comfortable responding to questions and sharing their opinions in class and more likely to explore more ‘nontraditional’ subjects such as math, science, and technology.”

Our program consists of a variety of sessions each year dedicated to motivation, reflection, and action in STEM. Girls will be surrounded by female professionals in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

Carolyn H. Garfein and Linda D. Hallman of the American Association of University Women write, “stereotypes can lower girls’ aspirations for science and engineering careers over time. ... To diversify the STEM fields we must take a hard look at the stereotypes and biases that still pervade our culture. Encouraging more girls and women to enter these vital fields will require careful attention to the environment in our classrooms and workplaces and throughout our culture."

Girls in STEM is designed to do just that. At KSS we want girls to grow up believing in their own abilities, asking tough questions, and competing in an ever-changing, dynamic and technology-driven marketplace. We believe that these girls are our future and Girls in STEM will help them build an incredible future for all of us.

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Capital Campaign Update: Building on Your Support

We are grateful to each of the donors who have made this project a reality! The loyalty from our community has fueled Keystone Science School's continued growth, making the move to new, improved facilities possible. With your support, we are working diligently to improve our staff team and instructor experience at KSS, helping to retain the excellent employees who impact over 7,800 youth and adults each year.

July 2018
KSS Capital Campaign Update
November 2018
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Push Outside Your Comfort Zone

Keystone Science School has a variety of summer camp options including day, overnight, and adventure programs. Parents and campers can choose from over 30+ programs which can help campers learn to push outside their comfort zone. Registration opens on November 12th at 10 AM! Sign up between November 12-19th and receive a 10% early bird discount.

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We strive to create safe spaces for our campers to push their limits and step outside their comfort zone. Trying new activities such as hiking, rafting, or rock climbing is not just recreation but is a lifelong lesson in pushing comfort zones which can allow our campers to build more confidence and self-esteem. It’s skills such as these which can be transferred to other aspects in their life. At the close of each program we survey our campers. Two of our proudest results is that 88% of our Day Campers reported that they tried an activity they didn’t think they could do and 82% of Discovery Campers reported that they went out of their comfort zone.

We train our staff to acknowledge the fears of our campers and allow them to make up their mind about when they want to challenge themselves. In the camping world this is commonly known as “challenge by choice.” This is an important concept which allows a child to understand that they can achieve their goals whenever they choose to push themselves.

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The Mindset Your Child Needs to Succeed Inside and Outside of the Classroom

Plus One Other Trick to Build the Environment to Promote that Mindset

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By understanding growth mindset and using micro-affirmations to combat stereotype threat, parents can help their children preform their best inside and outside of the classroom.

Keystone Science School hosts Girls in STEM programs as a way to combat one form of stereotype threat. Developing a growth mindset is a practice that needs to be repeated often including in the classroom, through programs like the ones hosted at KSS, but especially at home.

What is “Growth Mindset”?

Growth mindset is the understanding that abilities and intelligence can be developed. That is the definition used by Dr. Carol Dweck who coined the term after studying students’ attitudes toward failure.

170728jk campus 051People who demonstrate a growth mindset see that effort is the path to mastery. Therefore, they are more likely to embrace challenges. More importantly, when children with a growth mindset encounter the inevitable hardship or failure they persist and see the experience as a learning opportunity and space for growth

Growth mindset is not just a nice idea. Researchers have found that 7th graders who were taught that intelligence is malleable and affected by effort, showed a clear increase in their math grades.

Unfortunately, too many people operate with a fixed mindset, but research shows that mindsets can be changed.

To see if you have a Growth or Fixed Mindset you can take the quiz here.

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To truly sleep under the Stars, Go to Dinosaur National Monument

Keystone Science School will be taking a group of 12-14 year-olds to Dinosaur National Monument for a week-long camp. They will be hiking and whitewater rafting during the day and learning about astronomy at night. For more details see the link at the bottom of this post.

Colorado has adventures around every corner. Plus, we’re driving distance to all sorts of additional places to explore, camp, and experience the joy of being outdoors. However, if spending the night under a starry sky is your goal, you need to go to Dinosaur National Monument.


Off the beaten path, Dinosaur National Monument is on the border of Colorado and Utah. Its gorgeous canyons are carved through the sandstone by the Green and Yampa Rivers.  The Unita Mountains force the rivers into tight channels that create rapids enjoyed by rafters and kayakers. The powerful current of the river reveals the evidence of the Mesozoic Era creatures that earned the park its name.

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Since this gem of the Park Service remains under the radar, it doesn’t receive the crowds of some of the nearby National Parks. While there are hiking trails, the smaller crowds allow for off-trail travel in most of the monument. This backcountry access allows for the opportunity to “get into the heart of the wilderness” that John Muir pursued.

Besides the wonderful reasons we’ve already discussed, the reason to go to Dinosaur National Monument is to take in the night sky. The remote location makes it one of the darkest places in the United States. With limited light pollution, the night sky appears in colorful, vivid detail that is no longer visible in most of the places we live.

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