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Girls in STEM - Snow and Avalanche Science

Keystone Science School’s Girls in STEM: Snow and Avalanche Science focuses on addressing challenges experienced by women interested in pursuing STEM-specific education and careers. Specifically, participants will learn about snow science and avalanche mitigation in alpine environments while directly taking scientific measurements with experts in the field.

Over the three-day program, participants will learn how to measure snowpack stability, snow water equivalent, as well as how to use avalanche beacons. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to cross country ski and meet avalanche dogs. As participants gain hands-on experience with using the Design Thinking Process, they will have the opportunity to hear from women working in ski patrol and avalanche safety and learn about the barriers they have faced as women and how they have overcome those challenges.


When: 2/10-2/12, 2023
Who: Girls, Grades 4th to 8th
Rate: $325
(includes lodging, meals, programming, and use of supplies and technology)
Where: Keystone Science School
Scholarships Available and are awarded to those who express economic need and a passion for the program.

Register Here

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Sample Schedule

Please note that this program schedule may change based on the availability of our STEM Mentors.

Day 1: Friday
  • 6:00pm Check-in (dinner at Keystone Science School)
  • 7:00pm Program orientation with KSS Instructors
  • 7:30pm STEM mentors present on careers in Ski Patrol and Avalanche Control (avalanche models, snowpack stability, and airbag deployment)
  • 8:30pm Female Empowerment Activities (Confidence Building)
  • 9:00pm Debrief: candle chat  - What does it mean to be a woman working in a STEM field?
Day 2: Saturday
  • 8:00am Day overview (breakfast @ Keystone Science School)
  • 9:00am Head to Arapahoe Basin Ski Area (with ski patrollers) -Dig snow pit, measure snow depth, aspect, temperature, hardness and examine snow grains -Learn how to use avalanche beacons - Meet the ski patrol avalanche dogs
  • 1:00pm Head back to KSS Campus for an afternoon of cross country skiing
  • 5:30pm Begin Design Thinking Process
  • 7:00pm Design Thinking Process - Avalanche Boards
  • 8:00pm Female Empowerment Activities (Leadership Development)
  • 9:00pm Debrief: candle chat - What did you learn about working in a STEM field from the panel?
Day 3: Sunday
  • 8:00am Day overview
  • 9:00am Work on avalanche board using the Design Thinking Process
  • 12:00pm Parent presentation
  • 12:30pm Departure

Rates & Sliding Fee Scale

Free & Reduced Lunch Rate $45
CHP+ (Child Health Plan Plus) Rate $90
Full Pay Rate $325


If you have a financial barrier, please apply for a scholarship for the Girls in STEM program. All scholarships will be determined on a rolling basis and offered based on financial need.

Apply Here

STEM Mentors

A variety of female professionals will be interacting with all participating girls throughout the weekend. As the cast of STEM Mentors is solidified, we will update this page with names and biographies. Stay tuned.

Purpose and Focus of Girls in STEM

In today’s professional world there is a large gender gap in STEM focused careers. This gender gap is experienced not only in the workforce, but in the pursuit of post-secondary STEM degree programs. The research explains some of the disparities are due to lacking female self-esteem within STEM subjects, limited mentors working within STEM fields, and gender stereotypes within our society and educational system.

Building off of the success of past Keystone Science School’s Girls in STEM programs, this unique opportunity focuses on snow & avalanche specific topics while inviting participants to stay overnight on Keystone Science School’s campus. The intent is to create another step in the Girls in STEM continuum of programs further strengthening mentor relationships and girls’ interest in STEM.


Program Goals

  • Inspire confidence and leadership in young females through STEM-related fields.
  • Incorporate the consensus-building process into interactive, engaging activities, while promoting a positive growth mindset.
  • Encourage collaboration between female students and professional mentors.
  • Apply learning and use the design thinking process to solve a problem.


More All-Girls Programs at KSS


  • All-Girls Climbing

    This week-long adventure is designed for girls to learn technical rock climbing skills and techniques with female mentors and instructors. This trip will also feature a rafting adventure with an all-female team of rafting guides, as you build your confidence and community among a like-minded group of girls.

    Learn More


  • All-Girls Backpacking

    Featuring the Zirkel Wilderness, this all-girls group will spend the week backpacking near Steamboat, Colorado. This week-long adventure is designed for girls to learn backpacking skills with female mentors and instructors.

    Learn More


  • Girls in STEM: Medical Research Exploration

    Learn about bioengineering and healthcare in partnership with SPRI. Participants will go on a laboratory tour to see important aspects of the SPRI labs used by scientists and doctors and get a glimpse into a world-class scientific research program.

    Learn More



Girls in STEM Final Report

Read the impact of our Girls in STEM 2022 programs at KSS in our Girls in STEM Final Report.

Girls in STEM Final Report

Program Partners and Sponsors

Special thanks to our sponsors for this program!



Xcel Energy     US Bank     FirstBank   JP Innovation    Occidental Oil & Gas
     Climax Molybdenum     Steadman Clinic Denver Water Aurora Water Logo