STEM Learning Company Comes to Des Moines

DES MOINES, Iowa – One entrepreneur, moved her company half way across the country to grow the business.

Founder and CEO Kina McAllister created STEMBox to get young girls excited about the sciences.

McAllister moved her company from Seattle to Des Moines  to be closer to her demographic, which is eight to 13-year-old girls.

STEMBox is a monthly subscription of science experiments sent to households across the country.

McAllister was working in a research lab when she came up with the idea back in 2014.

“The reason this box exists overall, is because there is a huge gap in gender STEM. About 24 percent of the field is made up of women, and in some cases it is lower. It’s like 11. 1 percent for astronomers and physicists. So, if you look around you are one in a group of 10 people, and that’s pretty tough if you can’t see people like you around you,” McAllister said.

The company focuses on experiments that involve science, technology, engineering and math.

The kits include instructions for the experiment,  supplies and a bonus souvenir to remember the experience.

McAllister said it can be hard being the minority at work, so she wants to let girls know that she is there for them.

“I try to make myself available as a resource, as a woman who has been in STEM and somebody who is accessible to girls. It’s really frustrating if you look around and you notice there is a Neil deGrasse Tyson, Carl Sagan, and Bill Nye, but there’s no women at that level. We have to look around our community and who we know in our day-to-day lives to find inspiration for these girls,” McAllister said.

Past STEMBoxes include: sharks, bugs, wonder women wrist cuffs and more.

The company has had a box in every single state, and hopes to continue to grow. So far 20 STEMBoxes have been made.

McAllister said STEMBox is meant to show girls they can be a part of a STEM industry.

“One of the important things is showing girls that there are role models out there that they can look up to. It’s really hard for girls to see where they are going if they can’t see someone who has already done it,” McAllister said.

There are currently 500 active subscribers for STEMBox.

Prices include:

  • Three month subscription: $87.00
  • Six month subscription: $168.00
  • One year subscription: $300.00