Box Resources







Light and its properties have long been a subject of curiosity among scientists, but how can we harness it? This month StemBox and the University of Oregon's Women in Graduate Sciences (UOWGS) have worked together to bring steminists a StemBox that allows them to manipulate light! Inside each box, Steminists will have the opportunity to explore reflective light properties, holograms, and the diffraction of light!

Experiment Instructional Videos

Research Optics on the Web!

  • Women in Graduate Sciences

    This month StemBox worked with the UOWGS to develop our optics box to teach steminists about the properties of light! The UOWGS is highly motivated to help improve the graduate experience for women in science, inspiring women at all ages to pursue science, and supporting women in their next career steps. They are making those goals a reality through starting new mentorship programs, connecting female scientists across the Pacific Northwest, and constantly working to build a positive community. 
    Learn more here!

    Geometric Optics

    This box was just a taste of what the world of optics has to offer and how light can be used to create new and better images. If you're hungry for more, the Khan Academy has awesome videos and curriculums to take it to the next step. Learn about specular and diffuse reflection, Snell's law, and internal reflection!
    Visit Khan Academy!


    Radiolab is obviously one of Kina's (our founder!) favorite podcasts. This episode is all about colors and light, but it does so much more than that! Follow along as Jad and Robert learn about the mantis shrimp and the extent to which color is created in our minds!
    Listen to the episode!

  • Optical Illusions

    The way we manipulate light to create different images has a lot to do with the way our brains process those images! The hologram in this month's box is a great example of this, but if you love looking at optical illusions this site has a lot to keep your eyes busy!

    Fun illusions here!

    Optical Experiments

    Of course if you are looking for even more hands on experiments to learn about optics, the Optical Society has curated an amazing collection of them! Everything from telescopes to Jell-O Lenses this site can offer protocols to your heart's content.
    More experiments, please!

    How Rainbows Work

    If you are old enough to remember "Double Rainbow" viral sensation, then this one's for you! If you don't know about this video we highly recommend checking it out, or the YouTube Remix. In any case, the science of rainbows is definitely something worth getting worked up about. Make sure to learn about them here!
    Somewhere over the rainbow, there is definitely science.

Get this box

The last day to sign up for the Bridge Box was March 1st.

Sign up in time for next month's box!


Steminists in action!

Share your photos with us by using the hashtag #StemBox
with your photos on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

Nothing makes us happier than to see girls having a blast with #science! #stembox #steminism

A photo posted by StemBox (@mystembox) on

Troubleshooting the
Optics Box

Be sure that the tape you use to secure the edges of the trapezoids is minimal. Try connecting these pieces only at the corners with small pieces of tape. It may also help to turn off the lights and increase brightness on your phone screen.

You can always trim these circle to match the radius of your kaleidoscope. Just be sure to leave a good centimeter on the edges so that you can create edges that keep the lenses in place. It's O.K. to wing it on this one!

It definitely helps on this experiment to get at eye level or angle yourself to be able to see the reflection of light at an angle. It may take a few seconds for the polarity of the water and nail polish to react and spread a thin film of nail polish over the surface of the water.

If your StemBox is missing pieces or you're having other issues, email us!
[email protected]
We are happy to help and will do our best to send you a replacement piece ASAP!