Girls on Rock

Girls on Rock is a unique, free wilderness science education programs for high school girls.

Girls on Rock

Girls on Rock is a unique, FREE, wilderness science education programs for high school girls. Each summer a team of 8-9 teenage girls and 3 instructors spend 12 days exploring and learning about the alpine landscapes of the Rocky Mountains through art, rock climbing and conducting scientific field studies with our team of professional glaciologists, ecologists, mountain guides, and artists.

As part of Inspiring Girls Expeditions, our purpose is to give girls a feeling for the processes that create the natural world and provide an environment that fosters the critical thinking necessary to all scientific inquiry. We encourage the girls to observe and think like scientists by making observations and inferences. They develop their own experiments to test ideas and answer questions.

The girls on the team also challenge themselves and gain self-confidence in their physical, intellectual, and social abilities. An Inspiring Girls Expedition is the science version of a “language immersion” experience – where we connect science with all aspects of daily life with the goal of creating lifelong advocates for Earth science, specifically, and the scientific process as a whole, regardless of whether or not they decide to specialize in science in their future career.

The wilderness setting and field team led by strong women inspires young women’s interest in science and provides a challenging environment that increases their physical and intellectual self-confidence. We welcome cis girls, trans girls, and nonbinary youth. 

Our selection of participants is not based on grades or other accomplishments. We focus on creating a diverse team, and emphasize providing this experience to those girls who might not otherwise be able to have an opportunity like this. 

More About Girls on Rock

Contact

Applications for participants open in December at https://girlsonice.org/apply. Email us at rock@girlsonice.org to learn about volunteer opportunities and other ways to support Girls On Rock.

GOR

Girl on belay climbing

Girls hiking in a meadow

 

Areal View of Climbing Site

Girl climbing

 

sommers

Pacifica Sommers

I am a research affiliate in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department at the University of Colorado Boulder. I am interested in the forces that maintain - or undermine - biological diversity, especially at the microscopic level. My current research is on forces controlling microbial diversity on and around Arctic, Antarctic, and alpine glaciers.

Naomi Owchat Headshot

Naomi Owchat

Naomi is an Education & Outreach Associate at CIRES. She works on the CLEAN network and collection of resources. She also does research in the Arctic and Antarctic through remote sensing methods. Before working with CIRES Naomi was in Svalbard working as a hiking guide and research assistant, and has worked as a professional tutor and English teacher. She is passionate about inspiring and educating people about the outdoors and science, particularly climate change. She holds an MSc. in Glaciology from the University of Calgary and a BSc. in Geology from the University of Colorado, Boulder. When not working she spends her time volunteering with Inspiring Girls Expeditions connecting underprivileged high school girls to STEM and backcountry activities.

Every year, the day-to-day itinerary and details of the expedition will change due to weather and other circumstances. The basic itinerary typically looks like this:

  • Day 1-2: Meet the team in Boulder, CO, pack for the expedition, and learn about traveling and camping in the mountains.
  • Day 3: Drive to trailhead (exact location TBD) and hike into the mountains to establish our base camp.
  • Day 4-9: Explore the landscape surrounding base camp while gaining essential mountaineering and climbing skills and working on science projects.
  • Day 10: Hike out and travel back.
  • Day 11: Wrap up science experiments and present results in short presentations.
  • Day 12: Final reflection activities and travel home.

Program Team

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