When UW Faculty Associate in Chemistry Agnes Lee was setting up her partnership with the LCEC, her first question was, “Can we light things on fire!?” Since then, her exuberant spirit has brought dry ice, density towers, the ingredients for slime, and so much more to the third through fifth grade girls in the LCEC’s elementary program. Through structured experiments and supervised time to explore on their own, girls are learning about science and about themselves.

“This is a great partnership,” says Taylor Gilbertson, the elementary program teacher who works with Agnes and the girls. “The experiments we do really get the girls thinking about seeing themselves as scientists.”

While Agnes’ original request to set things on fire may have been referencing scientific chemicals, she has since set the girls’ spirits ablaze with excitement and confidence that a scientist can look exactly like the girls behind the goggles in these photos.