Ananya, Ella, Síonna, Ruth and Ashley–Cool Girls Founders

Cool Girls Science and Art Club was initiated by inspired Crest View Elementary School second-grade girls in May 2008. They loved doing hands-on projects in science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics (STEAM) with mentor Mary Golden and the exciting STEAM professionals she brought into their classroom. They didn’t want it to end.

These girls had big dreams and believed they could do whatever they set their minds to. And they had two questions:
    • Could they start their very own club for girls?
    • Would these mentors work side by side and have fun with them during the summer and after school?
But of course! How could the adults resist sharing their knowledge with such enthusiastic young scientists? So this founding group of girls named their club Cool Girls Science and Art Club and invited others who share their passion for STEM to join them after school.

To see what our alumnae are up to now visit Forever a Cool Girl.

September 2008: Cool Girls doubles in size and begins meeting after school in a classroom with the support of Family Resources, a joint project of the Boulder Valley School District and the City of Boulder that provides partial scholarships. Mary leads after-school girls’ groups and continues to bring mentors into classrooms during the school day.

January 2009: Cool Girls holds its first public art show (topic: marine biology) and food drive for the Our Center at the Old Firehouse Art Center in Longmont, Colorado.

March 2009: Cools Girls exhibits the girls’ paintings about marine biology in the National Center for Atmospheric Research Mesa Lab Art Gallery. News stories about the art show generates a buzz; Cool Girls forms a board of advisors that includes scientists Peggy LeMone, Jielun Sun, and the director of science for the Boulder Valley School District, Samantha Messier. Cool Girls adds a pilot project at a private Montessori school.

Spring 2010: Parents provide partial scholarships for children who need them. No one is turned away for financial reasons.

Fall 2010: The National Girls Collaborative Project awards a grant from the Noyce Foundation for Mary Golden and board member Egbe Osamwonyi to participate in its first collaboration conference with 140 other STEM-for-girls organizations from around the country, as well as the first USA Science & Engineering Festival on the Mall in Washington, DC.

January 2011- 2015: Cool Girls hosts occasional events for hundreds of children at Crest View and community celebrations such as Longmont’s Chinese New Year. Funding sources now include the Longmont Community Foundation and individual donors. Cool Girls prepares to expand the after school program, starting with Longmont, with a long term goal of reaching out to Costa Rica. Lastly, Cool Girls has added a focus on entrepreneurship (e-STEAM) by hosting a summer accelerator for elementary school girls.

2016:  The ninth year in which Cool Girls have guided and evaluated their club. At the beginning of each semester, the girls select activities. (Explosions are always at the top of the list.) They became interested in making money by starting their own businesses, so we added entrepreneurship to the mix and STEAM became  e-STEAM. Our first-ever summer camp, the Cool Girls Entrepreneurial Accelerator, will be held at CU’s Leeds School of Business from July 25-August 5, 2016, and coordinated by Leeds graduate and Cool Girls board member Katie Lewis. For details, visit Summer Programs.