Last weekend, Kitty and I were invited to join Kina McAllister, Founder and CEO of StemBox , as she led a group of 15 girls in a “StemBox Workshop”. McAllister, formerly a HIV researcher at Fred Hutichinson Cancer Research Institute, uses the workshops to test the monthly boxes before they are shipped to girls all over the country. We had the opportunity to test out March’s “Lemon Battery Kit” and we were super impressed. Read on to learn all about it, and enter to win your own StemBox!
We arrived at the HiveBio Community Lab, got a name badge and the girls went into a small room. Kina introduced herself, and then did a short lesson on electricity, the components you need to make a battery, and how the items in the kit (lemons, galvanized nails, a piece of copper and some wire) met those needs. Our mission was to create a battery that could power a small LED. Everything we needed was included in the box that would be mailed to subscribers- with the exception of the lemons.
After a quick talk about safety, the girls headed downstairs to the lab. The girls were so excited to open their boxes. They had all taken the safety lesson very seriously and were all gloved up and decked out in their safety goggles in no time. Then they got down to work. It was a little tricky for some of the younger girls to figure out the wiring pattern, as the lesson hadn’t included a mention of the multiple lemons needed to generate enough electricity to power the LED, but once that was figured out every girl successfully created a working lemon battery. There was a little time left after the main experiment, and Kina encouraged the girls to create their own experiments. The girls added more lemons to their circuit, measured electricity with a voltmeter, added more LEDs, added more wires….it was really neat to watch the girls come up with ideas and then test them out.
When this box is sent to subscribers it will include instructions and all of the materials needed minus anything perishable – which parents will have to provide; in this case lemons, some fun surprises like stickers, and links to a video demonstration and a video bio of a “STEMinist” (A STEM Feminist – I LOVE it!) currently working in the field.
McAllister came up with the idea for StemBox when she realized that the science kits that helped her get interested in science aren’t as readily available to kids today. She knew that consistent access is a key to keeping girls interested and engaged, and a subscription box seemed like the best way to do that. She has developed an engaging product that Kitty loved – she begged me to subscribe before we even left the building. When we got home she was so excited to show Nate the box the folks at StemBox were kind enough to send us home with. They sat together and replicated the experiment, and then Nate showed her some other things she could do with the materials. We’re very excited to subscribe and see what next month’s box brings!
StemBox is $28.33 – $36/month depending on your subscription plan. You can subscribe here.
StemBox has been generous enough to provide one Parenting Geekly reader with their own Lemon Battery StemBox! Use the form below to enter:
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