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Event Details


---ALMOST SOLD OUT AS OF Nov. 14 ----

You are invited to the Great Adventure Lab’s

Girls Get Science evening event

5:30-8:00 pm on Saturday, November 19th, at Bethesda Elementary School,

Bethesda, Maryland.

Please join us. It is absolutely inspiring to see girls laughing and having fun while learning about science and engineering from women scientists and engineers, in an all-girls environment!

This event features a speaker panel, a chance to meet the speakers and a choice of hands-on science workshops for girls grades K-6. Workshop choices will include Nature Science, Lego Engineers, Lego Robotics, Video Game Programming, Mindstorms and Young Engineers.

SCROLL DOWN to see speaker bios!

All workshops will be led by our enthusiastic and talented instructors. 

Event format. While girls in grades K-6 are participating in hands-on activities, our panel of women scientists and engineers will speak with parents about the experience of being a girl or young woman pursuing a career in science or engineering.
After the panel, the girls will rejoin their parents and have a chance to meet with our panelists to learn more about what these women do for a living!

Here's a slideshow of a past GGS event.


Our speakers


Florence Tan, Electrical Engineer, NASA


Florence Tan (second from right) is the lead electrical engineer on the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) team. SAM is the laboratory inside the Mars Rover, Curiosity. When Curiosity collects rock samples from the Martian surface, SAM analyzes those samples for any signs of microbial life.

Ms. Tan is a graduate of the University of Maryland and has worked on various missions for NASA for more than two decades. She was born in a Malaysian fishing village. These days when she's not communing with her instruments in outer space, you can find her leading impromptu yoga sessions for her NASA colleagues, or studying "The Joy of Lex" for winning Scrabble words. Ms. Tan spoke at our first Girls Get Science event in spring of 2011 - we're pleased to have her back!


Caitie McCafferty, National Institutes of Health Postbaccalaureate Fellow

Ms.McCafferty is a computational biophysicist at the NIH, where she works on writing algorithms to describe protein folding.  Missense mutations lead to protein misfolding and ultimately genetic disease such as Age-related Macular Degeneration, Alzheimer's, and many more. To this end has she created the Unfolding Mutation Screen, which provides a full analysis of a protein structure and the consequences of missense mutations. It is her goal that this program will aid both the diagnosis and treatment of genetic disease.  Caitie is also involved in academic outreach at the NIH and has served as a mentor for the HiGH Step program at the NIH where she introduced students from disadvantaged backgrounds to possible career opportunities in the STEM fields. 

Ms. McCafferty has a BS in Chemistry from the University of Maryland where she also minored in Math and Spanish. During her undergraduate years, she studied Environmental Policy and Sustainability in Indonesia.


Clark Construction Company
Safety Engineer
Ms. Laura Allen

Ms. Allen manages environmental health and safety programs for high-profile projects, such as the $300 million CSX Virginia Avenue Tunnel project in DC.  The new tunnel will replace the old tunnel, parts of which were built back in 1872, with a new, wider and deeper double tunnel which will allow the passage of double decker freight cars!  She has also been involved in the Cannon House Office Building Renewal Project on Capitol Hill. Cannon House was built in 1908 and provides office spaces members of the House of Representatives.

Ms. Allen has a BS in Geological Sciences from the State University of New York at Buffalo.


Carmen Leon Pacheco, Engineer, The Christman Company

Ms.Carmen Leon Pacheco moved to the United States from La Paz, Bolivia thirteen years ago and went to high school in Arlington, VA. She has been working in the construction industry for three years and is an active member of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC). She recently finished completing a project building, the largest high school in VA, which is one of her proudest accomplishments. She has also worked with organizations such as Latinas Leading Tomorrow to help encourage Latina girls to consider a career in Engineering.   

Ms. Leon Pacheco graduated from George Mason with a bachelors and masters degree in Civil and Infrastructural Engineering where she was a member of the Civil Engineering Honor Society.



Why are we holding a girls-only science event? 

Studies have shown that as early as second grade, many girls are deciding that math is not for them, which certainly doesn’t bode well for their views on engineering and the sciences!  We hope that by reaching out to girls and their parents through events like these, we can help convince girls in our community that science is for everyone.  


Registration for this event is $35 per parent/daughter pair and $15.00 for each additional participant ($10 extra for additional parent).

 Sign up for 10 or more - and each parent-daughter pair pays just $25.

Please choose two mini workshops when you register.  We are offering workshops based on grade level: Lego Engineers (grades K-1), LEGO Robotics (grades 2-4), Mindstorms (4-5, 6-8), Video Game Programming (Grades 3-5, 6-8),  and Young Engineers grades (K-1 and 2-3.) 

Note: you are encouraged to arrive no later than 5:45 pm to check in.

The Great Adventure Lab proudly sponsors Girls Get Science events as part of our ongoing mission to get more children, especially girls, excited about science and engineering at an early age.

We offer after school enrichment classes and summer camps in LEGO robotics, engineering, computer animation, electronics, crime science … and more! We've taught more than 4,000 kids to write their first programs since we first started serving the DC area in fall of 2010. We currently offer classes in Montgomery, Prince George's and Howard Counties in Maryland; the District; and Fairfax County in VA. If we're not already at your school, invite us!

We support our communities by donating money back to our PTA partners offering at-cost classes to residents of low-income housing projects managed by Montgomery Housing Partnership. We were founded in fall 2010 by a Silver Spring mother of two young children. We have the smartest, most fun instructors in metro DC, and possibly the world!

Our management team is made up of six parents of children ages 3 to 18! We are genuinely passionate about inspiring the next generation to explore science and engineering before someone else convinces them these fields are 'boring.' We believe in FUN first, learning through hands-on activities for every kid, every time, SMALL class sizes, enthusiastic instructors, informative notes home after EACH class; and excellent customer service, whether you are a kid, a parent, or an after-school activity coordinator. We put people before profits. 

For more information about our classes, camps or birthday parties, or to see bios of our instructors, please visit our website at You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube under the name The Great Adventure Lab or @awrobots.
We look forward to seeing you at Girls Get Science!!

Need help with registration?

Questions about the event itself?  Contact our Events Director, Laura Wilhelm, at


The Great Adventure Lab

Registration questions:

(240) 442-1855
twitter: @awrobots


Bethesda Elementary School
7600 Arlington Rd.
Bethesda, MD
United States