Stellar Girls

iBIO Institute EDUCATE Center's Stellar Girls program, which inspires young women to enter into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers. Stellar Girls, supported by the Astellas USA Foundation, introduces girls in Grades 3-8 to current, interesting, "Big Ideas" in STEM fields. Through weekly after-school program activities, students explore how STEM is used to Feed, Fuel, Heal and Save the World. They engage in hands-on activities and have the opportunity to interact with STEM professionals and other volunteers to learn about STEM careers and apply STEM skills to real-world problems.

Stellar Girls activities exemplify Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core State Standards. Activities are woven into 20 hour-and-a-half long lessons that provide authentic problem contests and student-centered investigations. Each Stellar Girls site receives materials and supplies for up to four units each year. Each unit is comprised of five hands-on activiites. Stellar girls lessons are led by coaches from educational and community organizations. EDUCATE provides training for coaches on each lesson during a series of intense hands-on workshops. 

The goals of the program are to: 

  • Develop coaches’ abilities to connect with girls about STEM
  • Improve girls’ curiosity, self-efficacy, and content knowledge in science and math
  • Build students’ awareness of exciting careers in STEM-based industries

Program Impact: 

  • Stellar Girls serves a diverse group of students including high needs schools. 
  • >600 girls have participated in Stellar Girls since 2011
  • Stellar Girls participants achieve significant gains in science and math content averaging 14 percentage points from pre- to post-test. 
  • Volunteers from STEM industires help provide visibilty to exciting STEM careers.
  • 26 schools and an estimated 400 girls are participating in the 2015-2016 program. 

2016 Summer Training Dates: 

July 6-9, Feeding and Healing Units
July 19-21 Fueling and Saving Units
9:00 AM to 3:30 PM daily
Argonne National Laboratory
9700 Cass Ave, Lemont, IL 60439
2015-2016 Stellar Girls Sites
2014-2015 Stellar Girls Sites
2013-2014 Stellar Girls Sites
2012-2013 Stellar Girls Sites
To become a Stellar Girls’ School or for more information, email To volunteer for the program, sign up at our VolunteerMatch page.