Pretty Brainy

Pretty Brainy empowers girls to be STEAM-strong and change the world. Girls gain not only science + tech, but professional skills + resilience to manage challenge and realize their dreams.

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General Information

Official Name
Pretty Brainy Inc​​​​​​​
DBA/Trade Name(s)
Former Name(s)
Date Established
Offers Additional Colorado State Tax Credit
Tax ID
Headquarters Address
150 E. 29th St.
Suite 250
Loveland, CO 80538
Colorado Location
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 7812
Loveland, CO 80537
Other Address
Main Phone Number
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Mission Statement

Pretty Brainy empowers girls to gain STEAM - Science, Technology, Engineering, Art + Design, and Math - as a force for innovation and growth, positively impacting their communities and world.

Organization History

Pretty Brainy is an award-winning education nonprofit founded with the purpose of transforming how girls ages 10 to 18 regard themselves in science, technology, engineering, art + design, and math (STEAM). We began by integrating math problem-solving into girls' apparel. Knowing the value of experiential learning and critical thinking, in 2013 we quickly pivoted to creating workshops and curricula that appeal to girls' interests in humanitarian engineering, philanthropy, social entrepreneurship, and design.

From 2019 to the present, Pretty Brainy and its corps of skilled volunteers brought girls more than 2,000 direct contact hours of learning in physical science, humanitarian engineering, design thinking, creative technology, and computational thinking. During these hours girls ages 10 to 18 gain experience and mentoring from scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, and developers. In the words of one high school senior ---

"I am most proud of the work I have done with Pretty Brainy because I am making an impact instead of just sitting back and watching other people fix the problems I am most passionate about. Working with Pretty Brainy has been one of the most beneficial experiences in my life."

Our accomplishments to date include ---

a. Launching the first-ever all-girl and all-woman innovation marathon for climate action. The marathon drew a racially and culturally diverse cohort of 40 girls, 20 mentors, and 10 subject-matter experts in the fields of energy, physics, engineering design, sustainable living, and human-centered technology. Held at Colorado State University, judges chose three innovations for development based on their feasibility to reduce CO2 emissions.

b. Making it possible for our all-girl team (average age: 17) to build and launch a scalable, mobile application to help citizens sustainably change their behavior to reduce their carbon emissions and contribute to a cooler planet Earth.

What started as the drive to keep one little girl as strong and confident in her abilities at age 13 as she was at age 7 has grown into this vision: Pretty Brainy will empower 2 million girls to develop their STEAM abilities and genius to positively impact their communities and world.


"I am most proud of the work I have done with Pretty Brainy because I am making an impact instead of just sitting back and watching other people fix the problems I am most passionate about. Working with Pretty Brainy has been one of the most beneficial experiences in my life."

- Emma Younger, student, Colorado School of Mines; 2020 graduate, Windsor High School

"Throughout middle school I participated in workshops with Pretty Brainy (which I loved), and I continued to work with founder Heidi Olinger and other women on projects such as MISSion Innovation and a middle school coding workshop I planned and taught at Bill Reed Middle School. I have been inspired by Pretty Brainy and have made it my goal to inspire other girls through the organization, as well."

- Madeleine Boyles, student, Colorado State University; 2020 graduate, Thompson Valley High School

"Pretty Brainy's MISSion Innovation was some of the best preparation for life in higher education, especially as an incoming engineering student. I learned technical skills around designing and prototyping under the pressure of requirements and a deadline, and programming logic and proficiency. Equally important, I developed skills in public speaking, documenting the proposals and then progress of my projects, and the ability to constructively work with a team. MISSion Innovation provided a constructive environment for me to gain confidence in those abilities, so I did not feel completely out of place as the only woman in some collegiate engineering projects. All of these skills were heavily emphasized and required to succeed in my first semester of college, and Pretty Brainy provided the foundation for those skills to be built upon."

- Katherine Schutt, student and Boettcher Scholar, University of Colorado at Boulder; 2019 graduate, Windsor High School

"Pretty Brainy is doing important work in the community to break down barriers and ensure that our workforce is inclusive, thoughtful, and committed to gender equity. They do an excellent job bringing diverse voices to the table and serving as an empowering catalyst for women of varied backgrounds."

- Kelly Robenhagen, The Women's Foundation of Colorado

"Barbara McClintock, cytogeneticist and winner of the 1983 Nobel Prize in Physiology, said, 'If you know you are on the right track, if you have this inner knowledge, then nobody can turn you off . . . no matter what they say.' In June 2019 I learned about three groups of wonderful young ladies who know they are on the right track. They delivered a strong and precise story about their science, knowledge, and passion for clean energy projects and the influence those can have on our community. They pitched to a large audience at the Colorado State University Energy Institute, which included CSU professors, researchers and community members. I am proud of them and I really appreciate Pretty Brainy's effort to make the MISSion: Innovation program happen."

- Mandana Ashouri, CSU Ventures

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