Meet Melissa Alderete
Melissa, frequently known as Science Girl, is a native New Mexican with a passion for inspiring kids, especially girls, in getting excited about STEM-related fields. Melissa holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) and a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Science Education from the University Of New Mexico.
Through her business, Science Girl’s Lab, Melissa has accomplished:
• Reached tens of thousands of students throughout New Mexico with stage demonstrations and hands-on experiences at baseball stadium events, school assemblies, large public events, state fairs, STEM camps, and more!
• Created several science activity and demonstration videos that have been used in classrooms and aired on NM PBS.
• Collaborated with other community STEM leaders to provide events for the public and corporations such as PayPal.
• Performed alongside other STEM performers at AFRL’s Super STEM Saturday such as Science Bob, Arthur Benjamin the Mathmagician, and Kate the Chemist, who all have been nationally recognized for their talent on nighttime shows and national news stations.
• Referred to as a Local Celebrity by New Mexico’s KOB and is often snatched up at local events to help draw a crowd.
• Awarded STEMY Community STEM Advocate in 2020 AFRL’s annual STEMYs for her work in the community.
Melissa grew up in New Mexico amongst a family of engineers and teachers and has been interested in science education since her early teenage years. She joined the Explora Youth Intern Program and received in-depth informal science education training through the museum until she graduated from high school (homeschooled).
Even though she wasn’t sure if she could succeed, Melissa wanted to combine her love of science and presentation and explore becoming a science performer. As her high school senior project, she spent 300 hours building a full-scale science theater production and performed Science Girl in Dr. Von Heister’s Hijinks at the Explora Museum in 2016. The response from the show was so positive that Melissa adapted the idea of Science Girl into what is now her private business, Science Girl’s Lab. In the summer of 2017, Melissa launched a new show called Dungeon Dilemma. It was another success and is as popular as the first show.
Ever since the premier of the original shows in 2016, Melissa has performed all over the state of New Mexico and grown her business to include hands-on science experiences. Science Girl’s Lab was a great way for Melissa to earn some extra money as she worked towards her Master’s Degree. Today, Melissa focuses her performances on mind-blowing demonstrations and providing hands-on activities for local schools and organizations.
Melissa lives in a small farm town south of Albuquerque with her husband, James. Melissa and James married in the fall of 2022 and love spending time watching movies and visiting family. They devote themselves to their local church serving the youth and encouraging the community in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Although a bigger family is planned for their future, they are content serving the local youth group and hanging out with their two parakeets.
Melissa is looking for every opportunity to bring science into the community through school assemblies, camps, speaking events, corporate events, and parties. Wherever Melissa has a chance to share science, she also inspires every kid to GO BE AWESOME!