Girl scientists get boost from Yellow Scope

Yellow Scope science kits up for Educational Toy of the Year

Michaela McCollum (left) watches as Alice Lovinger adds an ingredient in a Yellow Scope science kit, Nov. 25, 2015 (KOIN)
Michaela McCollum (left) watches as Alice Lovinger adds an ingredient in a Yellow Scope science kit, Nov. 25, 2015 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Michaela McCollum and Alice Lovinger are 5th-graders who know the basics of how a fire extinguisher works. And they know it thanks to a science kit made by Yellow Scope.

“This is pretty cool and unique,” Alice said. “There’s not really a lot like it anywhere else.”

She’s right.

If you wander down the toy aisle looking for a toy science kit for your kids, you’ll notice a giant difference between the ones for girls and for boys. The girls kits usually involve making beauty products.

A package containing a Yellow Scope science kit, Nov. 25, 2015 (KOIN)
A package containing a Yellow Scope science kit, Nov. 25, 2015 (KOIN)

Alice and Michaela’s moms, Marcie Colledge and Kelly McCollum, both have degrees in science. They co-founded Yellow Scope after volunteering in their daughters’ school.

“Our mission at Yellow Scope is to keep girls excited about science, to hook them early, show them science is fun and creative and keep engaged so they don’t fall off the curve when they reach middle school,” Colledge told KOIN 6 News.

Michaela McCollum (left) watches as Alice Lovinger adds an ingredient in a Yellow Scope science kit, Nov. 25, 2015 (KOIN)
Michaela McCollum (left) watches as Alice Lovinger adds an ingredient in a Yellow Scope science kit, Nov. 25, 2015 (KOIN)

That’s when the numbers drop dramatically when it comes to girls being interested in science. In their eyes, what was available on the toy market wasn’t great.

“They’re left with beauty kits, make a moisturizer, make a lip balm,” Colledge said. “While those are fun, they don’t delve into any of the science concepts. We think girls deserve better in the toy aisle.”

Colledge and McCollum developed akit that includes chemical re-agents, chalk cloth, safety glasses, a beaker and more. And the characters in the science journal are all girls.

But a boy could use a Yellow Scope kit, too.

“Boys do enjoy them and they’re gender neutral,” McCollum told KOIN 6 News. “The approach we took is to make it specific to girls, want girls to identify with female characters (and) give examples in the book relevant to girls.”

Several stores carry the Yellow Scope kits and they are up for Educational Toy of the Year, determined by a popular vote.

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