The Science Center of Iowa is expanding its Girls in Science initiative with help from DuPont Pioneer.


The initiative reaches more than 2,000 young women each year through programs offered at the Science Center. It aims to better equip girls in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The partnership with Pioneer was announced at a launch party this week.


Pioneer is giving an unspecified amount of money to help the Science Center expand to provide more opportunities for girls to meet female scientists and learn more about careers in those areas.


"Engaging girls in STEM programming at an early age is critical to making sure we develop the future leaders who will apply science to solving some of the world's greatest challenges," Michelle Gowdy, Pioneer's director of community and academic relations, said in a news release.


The partnership will also help the Science Center expand its Girls in Science programming by adding the following:

  • New Girls in Science Alumni Network: A newly launched Facebook community to help girls remain connected after leaving SCI's Girls in Science programs.
  • Expanded winter and summer camp offerings
  • Reduced cost for girls to attend the Girls-Only Pajama Party, where they get to meet and hear stories from local women in STEM-related careers.
  • Second Meals with Mentors event in spring 2015

Also at the launch party, the Science Center presented its inaugural Girls in Science Scientist of the Year award to Laura Higgins, research director at DuPont Pioneer. After participating in many Girls in Science programs and events over the past few years, Higgins joined the SCI board of directors in January 2014.


To learn more about Girls in Science, visit the Science Center's website.