Welcome to Queer Science!

cover art for the Queer Science zine. Showing the logo, text, and rainbow scientist pipetting.

Who we are

Queer Science is an entirely volunteer-run organization dedicated to STEM outreach for trans and queer young people. Our "volunqueer" STEM-ists include graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, faculty members, and staff at the University of Minnesota as well as professional scientists, community members, and partner organizations.

chemistry demonstration showing burning methane

What we do

Queer Science organizes free, multidisciplinary STEM outreach events for trans and queer high school students. Our volunteers develop immersive, hands-on educational STEM workshops as well as interact with and work alongside LGBTQ+ youth to:

  • Share our love for science,

  • Build intergenerational community, and

  • Provide visible functional adult role models.

After all, it's hard to be what you can't see! We are actively engaged with our local LGBTQ+ community through our partnerships.

rainbow beaker stating "supporting LGBT+ scientists"

Our values

Accessibility - Queer Science intentionally designs our events to remove barriers to participation.

  • All our events take place in ADA accessible spaces with gender-neutral restroom facilities.

  • We actively seek ways to support attendees in fully participating in our programming by providing ample opportunities to request any accommodation as well as provide “quiet rooms," sensory-safer and sensory-stimulating spaces.

  • Our events are completely free, and we provide reimbursement for transportation costs (including parking and transit).

  • We provide snacks for all events and meals for full-day events that accommodate all dietary restrictions.

Accountability - We are always grateful to receive feedback from participants, volunteers, and partner organization to make our programming ever-better!

View through a microscope of a flower

Our vision

Queer Science recognizes that STEM fields have historically been inaccessible, euro-centric, racist, and non-inclusive. We envision a future where we are valued as whole people and our uniquely queer contributions to our fields are celebrated. After all, STEM is not - has never been - objective. We strive to recognize the contributions of and welcome multiply-marginalized queer and trans STEM-ists, building a resilient and inclusive team that represents the intersectional identities of our participants beyond the queer alphabet.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is your affiliation with the University of Minnesota?

Because a critical mass of our volunteer body is affiliated with the University of Minnesota, we recently registered as a Campus Life Program. This affiliation will provide the infrastructural support needed to sustainably run Queer Science: manage our finances, implement best practices for working with youth, and host events in fully equipped labs and classrooms.

  1. Who should join your email list?

Anyone who wants to stay up-to-date on Queer Science's activities, of course! Our email list generally includes student participants, adult volunteers, and partner organizations. You can always opt out - no questions asked! - by emailing queerscience@umn.edu.

  1. Who can attend Queer Science's events?

Our events are developed specifically for LGBTQ+ high school students unless otherwise specified. Email queerscience@umn.edu with any other questions.

  1. Who can volunteer with Queer Science? Do you have to be affiliated with the University of Minnesota?

Adult STEM-ists of all stripes are welcome to volunteer with us: LGBTQ+-identifying folks are our participant-facing volunteers, while allies are welcome to provide behind-the-scenes support. (We define "STEM" broadly, encompassing chemistry, physics, nursing, environmental justice, robotics, and beyond!)

You do NOT need to be affiliated with the University of Minnesota to join us. Our volunteers include graduate students, faculty, and staff from the University of Minnesota and other institutions as well as other community members and partners.

  1. What are the expectations of volunteers?

All volunteers are required to read, agree to, and sign our handbook prior to volunteering with us to ensure the safety of all participants and staff in accordance with the University of Minnesota's Safety of Minors Policy.

  1. Does Queer Science provide opportunities for volunteers to connect with each other?

Yes! We can all appreciate how important it is to be in community with others, so we host several events each year designed specifically to build relationships among fellow volunteers - or "volunqueers," if you'd prefer (we do!). Join our email list to stay involved.

  1. How can my organization support Queer Science?

We love collaborating with other organizations, from developing a new event to sponsorship and more. We welcome your ideas. To get started, please join our email list. With specific ideas or requests, shoot us an email at queerscience@umn.edu.

  1. Where does Queer Science's funding come from?

We are funded by grants that our leadership team applies to both within and external to the University of Minnesota, organizational affiliates, and individual gifts. You can donate here and learn more about our incredibly generous sponsors here.