Our Story

Project Scientist began summer 2011 out of the guesthouse of founder, Sandy Marshall. While working as the Executive Director and Founder of The NASCAR Foundation, Sandy learned of the disadvantages that girls and women have in STEM majors and careers, and became committed to doing what she could to make a difference in her own community - Project Scientist had lift off!

Personally Sandy had experienced gender stereotyping and a lack of role models as she pursued a STEM major in college and as a result changed majors. As a mother of two young girls with a passion for science, Sandy remains committed to changing the status quo for her girls as well as girls across the country. The need for Project Scientist was based off a vast amount of research that shows girls with a high skill, aptitude, and talent for STEM subjects are not currently served or identified at a young age. Underserved and unidentified girls are not provided STEM opportunities at a pace, depth, and breadth commensurate with their talents and interests.

We created Project Scientist to change the world’s view of “who” a scientist is and “what” a scientist does. The vision of Project Scientist is to transform the face of STEM by nurturing today’s future scientists who will lead the world in solving tomorrow's greatest challenges! Every second of a girl's time with Project Scientist is intentional and based off of the latest research of what drives and sustains girl's interest in STEM. We diligently set goals and track the outcomes, outcomes that research has proven to affect girls with an interest in STEM. We annually partner with Harvard and the University of North Carolina Charlotte to research our model and validate our impact. We know that 78% of school-aged girls have an interest in STEM, yet women only make up 25% of the STEM workforce, and that somewhere along the lines we are losing these STEM girls. We are determined to reach STEM girls and hold their hand through PhD or as long as far as their STEM dreams take them. Finally highlighting our girls through public relations and marketing efforts, our hope is to overall change society's perception of girl's interest and aptitude in STEM, in the end helping all girls.

"We were thrilled to find a place where our daughters could continue exploring their interests in STE(A)M with other young and professional female scientists,” said Project Scientist mom Angela Willis. “The summer experience coupled with the school-year field trips makes for the perfect mesh of year-round personal growth and academic enrichment! We are so grateful to Project Scientist!"

Angela Willis
Project Scientist Mom

If you would like to learn more about the research that Project Scientist is based on, please view our research.