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STEM Challenge: Protostars

A protostar is the earliest phase of star formation, and this course will launch you to the first phase of becoming an astronomer! In this girls-only program, come learn about how stars form, live and die, and how they build up galaxies (like our home, the Milky Way). Use the tools and methods that professional astronomers use to uncover the mysteries of our universe! Students can look forward to guest speakers, a visit to the UW Planetarium, and activities integrating math, physics and science concepts. Invite your family and friends to join you at the end of the session for our own astronomy "conference," where you can share what you have learned. 

Who It's For

This course is for girls entering sixth to eighth grades. 

Note: This course is a revamp of the full-day session called  Protostars that ran last year. If your student has taken this course already, please consider another offering.


Natalie Nicole Sanchez has a master’s in physics, with a focus in astrophysics, and she’s currently pursuing her Ph.D. in astronomy at the UW. Her thesis research involves examining cosmological simulations of galaxies like the Milky Way. She is particularly interested in the gaseous halos that surround these galaxies (called the circumgalactic medium) and the way this halo of gas affects star formation in the galaxy disk and the supermassive black hole at its center.

Margaret Lazzarini is a Ph.D. student in astronomy at the UW. Her research focuses on studying the population of X-ray binaries in local galaxies using X-ray and optical telescopes. Before coming to the UW, Margaret taught high school physics and astronomy in Los Angeles, where she completed a M.A. in urban education. She has a B.S. in astronomy and physics from Yale University.

More Information

See the Things to Know section for details about registration policies, transportation and parking, and more.


Jul 8–Jul 19, 2019

Girls Only
1 p.m.–4 p.m.
UW Seattle
Refund Deadline
May 15 (100%)