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We would like to introduce Camille Carlisle, who just graduated from St. Mary's Academy and has been helping us out at Yellow Scope: Science Kits for Girls' Headquarters. In the fall she will be attending Tufts University to study bio-psychology and pursue a career in medicine. For some insights into this young woman - who is definitely going places in the world - please read her answers to some questions that we like to ask interesting girls/women in STEM.

1) Who inspires you the most?
It is a combination of Sheryl Sandberg, the author of Lean In and COO of Facebook, and my mom. They both represent the rewarding and complicated life of being both a mother and a successful career woman. Coming from St. Mary’s Academy, an all-girl school in downtown Portland, I have been surrounded by confident and empowering women who encourage me to not limit myself. My mom has been able to balance a career as an Emergency Physician and a mother for 18 years. I can only hope to do the same in my own life.

2) What mistake have you made that turned out to be a great learning experience?
It was a huge mistake for me to think that St. Mary’s would not be a good high school fit for me. I did not want to go to St. Mary’s Academy my 8th grade year because I had never been to my neighborhood school for more than three years. However, SMA has been the best education I have ever had. When I have a daughter I will encourage her to go to an all girls school because of the environment that states, “Today’s young women. Tomorrow’s leaders.”

3) We are really into the Growth Mindset at YS. (If you're not familiar with it, look it up because it will change your life.) What's something you're not good at... yet?
In a formal, educational environment, I tend to not be confident in my answers in large groups. I like to be right and often don’t articulate my thoughts because I don’t want to be wrong. After being surrounded by such self-assured young women at Saint Mary's Academy, I continue to work on becoming more assertive and unafraid of being wrong.

4) What's your favorite element, and why?
Carbon by far is my favorite element because it manages to sneak its way into every compound. From sugar, to carbon dioxide, methane, and diamonds! Who would think that nature could create diamonds from the Earth’s mantle to a crystalline structure of carbon (diamond lattice) and strong covalent bonding? Diamonds are supposed to be a girl’s best friend too right?

We are so happy to have Camille as part of our team!


We want girls to have all the opportunities that the world presents. Opportunity is one of the reasons we are passionate about keeping girls interested in STEM. It’s probably common knowledge that jobs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) often pay well, and that many STEM fields are growing. But did you know that the average wage for all STEM occupations is $85,570, nearly double the average for all occupations ($47,230)? AND, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, only five out of the 100 STEM jobs have wages below the average for all occupations.

Here is a list of the highest paying STEM jobs from the U.S. Department of Labor


A lead character in an animated movie that's a girl? Hollywood science that is relatively accurate? It sounds like INSIDE OUT might possibly be the must-see movie this summer. Historically, to be a female lead in a mainstream American animated movie, the unspoken rule has been that you had to wear a crown. Now “Inside Out,” Pixar’s new release, will introduce the studio’s first non-royal female lead. Riley is a regular kid whose emotions (embodied by Amy Poehler -- OMG Amy Poehler! -- Mindy Kaling, Bill Hader, Lewis Black and Phyllis Smith) are thrown into tumult when her family moves to a new city, and she begins to grow up. This is big news considering the dearth of female characters in the studio’s output: one lead in 14 movies, before this one. However, we were a little disappointed that none of the movie posters feature Riley. It seems that Pixar was not ready to feature a non-royal female lead in their marketing materials. Hmmmmmm.

We are definitely excited about the science that will be in the movie. According to NPR, the filmmakers get a lot of scientific details right. Inside Riley's head, you see memories get locked in during sleep, experiences transformed into abstractions, and guards protecting the subconscious.

Opening June 19th. #InsideOut #AmyPoehler #OMGAmyPoehler #Bechdel #GDIGIM


Father's Day is next Sunday, and we've come up with a Yellow Scope approved list of gift ideas.

How about accessorizing dad's bike with a hand-stitched Barrel Bag from Walnut? Give him a delicious snack from Fuller Foods. Because Sriracha. You can find these deliciously serious cheese puffs at Made Here PDX.

And of course we have included some science-y gifts for the dads: a Dadium shirt (psssst, it's not a real element), one of our science kits for a fun dad-daughter activity, and we had to include some socks on the list because no Father's Day Gift List is complete without socks. These ones are the Constellation socks from Sock it to Me.

A great book that includes geeky projects and activities for dads and kids is from the Geek Dad. We think a gift certificate to a local pub is a GREAT idea. One we recommend is the Oregon Public House, where you can drink a pint and change the world. Sound too good to be true? It's real. They donate 100% of their net profits to charity. #Aletruism

And lastly, we like to recommend a blog to all the dads out there. It's called Puzzling Posts. You'll love it. And it's free. (And he has a list of amazing Father's Day Gift Ideas!) 

Happy Father's day to all who serve as a dad to someone!

miss piggy

Move over Emma Watson and Lena Dunham, Miss Piggy is here to claim her rightful place as a feminist icon.

"I mean that moi is now and has always been an ardent feminist and champion of women’s rights," the Muppet "wrote" for TIME Magazine. She goes on to say, "I believe any woman who is willing to struggle, strive -- and if necessary learn karate -- to make their mark in the world is a feminist. And, yes, I believe that any woman, who cares about her appearance, her star billing and most especially her percentage of the gross, is a feminist. Moi is all of these things."

We'd like to congratulate Miss Piggy on receiving the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art Award, alongside Toni Morrison and Sandra Day O'Connor.


Read entire article at the Huffington Post here.

Bill Nye Encourages Young Science Gals and Guys at National Science Competition

Bill Nye the Science Guy expressed his thoughts at the Toshiba USA /National Science Teachers Association ExploraVision on the need for gender inclusion in STEM, saying, “Half the humans are girls and women, so we want half the engineers and scientists to be girls and women.” We love you, Bill Nye.

Read full article at the Amy Poehler's Smart Girls page here: 


Kickstarter Campaign FUNDED!

February 10, 2015

At the end of 2014, we ran a Kickstarter campaign to raise capital to get Yellow Scope up and running. And we're happy to report that we were successful! We surpassed our goal of $25,000 by over 30%. Thanks to all of our amazing Kickstarter supporters for backing us at the very start. We've just finished fulfilling our Kickstarter orders in the past month. And now we are open for business here on our website. We're posting content from our Kickstarter page here in case you missed it. There's lots of good information about our mission and our product. Thanks for checking it out.


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

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

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. *** 

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