2024 Summer Camp Registration Opens January 10th, 2024
The girls in our Snow & Avalanche program learn to cross-country ski on campus.

Snow & Avalanche Science

_Girls in STEM______

Girls in STEM: Snow & Avalanche Science

February 9-11, 2024

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. Participants will learn about snow science and avalanche mitigation in alpine environments while directly taking scientific measurements with experts in the field.

Over the 3-day program, participants will learn how to measure snowpack stability, snow water equivalent and 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.

The Girls in STEM Snow & Avalanche student group poses for a photo at Arapahoe Basin

Rates & Amenities

This program is subsidized on a sliding fee scale for local families – see the chart below. This price includes lodging in our dorms, all meals, programming and use of supplies and technology.

Free & Reduced Lunch rate$65
CHP+ (Child Health Plan Plus) rate$190
Fully Pay rate$350

Scholarships & Financial Assistance

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.


We offer free transportation to local families!

  • KSS pickup students from school on Friday afternoon from Silverthorne Elementary and Dillon Valley Elementary at 4pm
  • Parent Pickup on Sunday at KSS at 12pm and Silverthorne Elementary & Dillon Valley Elementary at 12:15pm.

Packing List

Students learn to cross-country ski downhill in our Girls in STEM Snow & Avalanche Science weekend.

Program Schedule

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

The female mentors in our Girls in STEM program speak to students in Rives Hall


Day 1
4:00pmDrop-off at KSS campus
4:00pmDrop-off at Dillon Valley Elementary & Silverthorne Elementary
6:00pmCheck-in (dinner at Keystone Science School)
7:00pmProgram orientation with KSS Instructors
7:30pmSTEM mentors present on careers in Ski Patrol and Avalanche Control (avalanche models, snowpack stability, and airbag deployment)
8:30pmFemale Empowerment Activities (Confidence Building)
9:00pmDebrief: candle chat  – What does it mean to be a woman working in a STEM field?
Avalanche dog at Arapahoe Basin during Girls in STEM


Day 2
8:00amIntro to your teaching space
9:00amHead 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
1:00pmCross country skiing
5:30pmBegin Design Thinking Process
7:00pmDesign Thinking Process – Avalanche Boards
8:00pmFemale Empowerment Activities (Leadership Development)
9:00pmDebrief: Candle Chat – What did you learn about working in a STEM field?
A A-Basin ski patroller mentoring a Girls in STEM student


Day 3
8:00amDay overview
9:00amWork on avalanche board using the Design Thinking Process
12:00pmParent presentation & KSS pickup
12:15pmParent pick-up at Dillon Valley Elementary or Silverthorne Elementary
The Girls in STEM students listen to local female mentors

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.

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.
Girls in STEM Snow and Avalanche students studying a snow pit with a ski patroller
An Arapahoe Basin avalanche dog during our Girls in STEM Snow & Avalanche Science program

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.

Thank you to our Program Donors

We are so thankful for all the corporate, foundational, and individual supporters of our Girls in STEM program.

If you are interested in supporting this program please contact Development & Events Manager, Mike Pasquarella. MPasquarella@keystonescienceschool.org or (970)513-5833.

Xcel Energy
US Bank
JP Innovation Project
The Steadman Clinic and Steadman Phillippon Research Institute
Aurora Water
Denver Water
Oxy Occidental

In the words of parents

“No phones. Dedicated time to focus on self. Reminders about gratitude. Getting in touch with nature. The counselors are strong, sweet, great role models.”

“My kid looks forward to this every year! It is so important for her to get out of her usual routine and meet new people and get a chance to be on her own.”

“We love KSS. The growth our kids have each summer is priceless. Thank you for all the hard work, planning and everything that goes into what you do!”

Check out more All-Girls programs at KSS!

Adventures is the next step in progression at KSS, and we have girls-only trips coming up next summer!

We also have more Girls in STEM programs coming up, including Medical Research this spring!

A girl looks up during an adventure rock climbing day at KSS summer camp.

All-Girls Climbing

Grades 6th-8th

The group listens to a lab tech mentor

Girls in STEM Medical Research

April 19-21