It's beneficial for young men and women to realize right now the value of working together as equals. In all things, because when you do, the results are...clear.

Girl Meets STEM (formerly known as Girl Meets Sludge) is the twenty-sixth episode in season 2 of Girl Meets World and the 47th episode overall. It aired on January 8, 2016 to 1.6 million viewers.


Riley is upset when the boys at school won’t let her participate in a science experiment and attempts to become more involved.


STEM Promo (6)

Drop the marble?

In Mr. Norton's science class, where Riley is lab partnered with Farkle while Maya is paired with Lucas, Norton's mid-term experiment for the class is for one half of each team come back after school and drop a "mystery marble' into a beaker filled with a clear solution, while the next day the other partner analyzes the resulting sludge and figures out how to turn it back into clear liquid. More important, both partners in each group will get one shared grade. Maya, who loathes science class, doesn’t want to do anything at all, so Lucas enlists her to drop the marble after school (and even that she doesn't want to do). Riley, however, is offended when Farkle insists she drop the marble while he does the rest of the work. When she walks into the classroom to drop the marble, she notices that every single boy-girl team sent the girl to drop the marble so the boy could do the science. Riley is outraged, and refuses to drop her marble.

When Farkle comes into class the next day and sees that Riley didn’t drop the marble (which causes him to faint twice), he futilely begs Mr. Norton to give them separate grades, blaming Riley for not doing her part. Riley makes a feministic speech, and calls all the girls to join her in The Bay Window, where Riley has Topanga give the girls a talk about how women tend to drift away from STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, math) because they think they’re supposed to, but that they shouldn’t be afraid to pursue their dreams out of fear for how it will make them look.

Girls With Sludge

Girls meet sludge

The next day in Cory's class, the girls collectively call out the boys for not believing in them enough to let them do the science; Farkle denies Riley's accusation and apologizes for taking on the work himself and not helping Riley to improve. Later in science class, the girls and the boys are each in their own groups separately working on the experiment: the boys are futilely analyzing the sludge while Maya, with the other girls watching intently, is bringing another beaker of sludge to a boil. Riley asks Farkle why he didn’t believe a girl could do the science; citing Marie Curie, Farkle counters that his decision to have her drop the marble was solely because of his own personal knowledge of science and not because Riley is a girl. He also reveals that after examining the marble Riley didn’t drop, he found that it’s only mud, so he doesn’t get the significance of the experiment. Seeing the other girls about to sacrifice Yogi to Maya's boiling sludge, Riley surmises that the project was never about the sludge at all.

As all the other teams have failed to turn their sludge back into a clear liquid, Riley and Farkle's liquid is clear because she refused to drop the marble, and Mr. Norton congratulates Riley for figuring it out; echoing Topanga's talk, Norton says that girls often do tend to abandon the study of science, and that most of the girls in Norton's class agree to drop the marble without even thinking about it, leaving the boys to do the science. Keeping thorough notes for the past 35 years, Norton has conducted the experiment annually in the hope of raising awareness of the girls' individual potentials and to keep the boys and girls working together as equals.


STEM Promo (1)

"Good game, Auggie."

After single-handedly defeating Auggie's team in soccer 29 goals to zero, Ava is livid when she sees that Auggie was given a trophy exactly the same as hers. With Topanga taking her side, Ava rebukes Auggie for standing around "like a fire hydrant" and urges him to at least try so he can get better, but when Auggie fails to see the point behind trying since he got a trophy anyway, Ava (after biting the head off of his trophy) angrily chases Auggie to his bedroom.

The next day, Auggie's realizes his own soccer skills, and Ava declares she wants Auggie on her team next year.


Main cast

Guest cast


Maya: Do you have a chimichanga?
Riley: No.
Maya: Then cover the boy in cheese!
Riley: Maya, our guy friends are pretty great. Maybe it’s easier to see that before we look at each other as boys and girls. Maybe it was easier when we looked at each other as friends.
Farkle: You had one job to do.
Riley: You mean take care of the babies, Farkle?
Farkle: What?! How long have I been out?
Maya: Do I look sleepy to you?
Darby: Yogi made me drop the marble too!
Yogi: I can't reach the beaker.
Darby: I could've lifted you!
Yogi: I don't like that as much as you think.
Farkle: Ok Riley, you drop the marble I'll figure out the sludge and earn us another A.
Riley: That's all I have to do? Farkle I don't understand.
Farkle: You do want an A, don't you?
Riley: Maya, something's wrong. Why do we have to drop the marble while Farkle and Lucas do the science?
Maya: Why is school over and I don't got a chimichanga?
Riley: We were all girls, Lucas. Every single lab partners sent the girl!
Mr Norton: No redos, equal responsibility, one shared grade.
Riley: That's right, we should be equal. Why do you guys think we're the ones to drop the marble while you figure out the science?
Maya: Hey, I'm me.
Topanga: Yes you are, you amazon warrior. Have I told you how fond I am of you?
Maya: Tell me.
Topanga: I am.
Riley: She dropped her marble.
Topanga: Maya!
Maya: What?! I'm not trying to hurt the girl thing, I'm just lazy.
Topanga: You cannot be lazy and you cannot think that it's more important to be right than it is to be leaders. Don't talk yourself out of pursuing something because you're afraid of how it's gonna make you look. What you need to know is don't let anyone get in the way of pursuing your growth and curiosity no matter what you wanna do.
Sarah: I wanna be the best I can and I want everybody to like me and I dropped the marble and I want your shoes... I wanna work at the company that makes your shoes... I wanna own the company that makes your shoes.
Topanga: That's my girl. That's my other girl...
Cory: Where are the boys? Boys! I'm very glad to see you because there was a distinct possibility you could be-- what's the word I'm looking for-- dead.
Riley: By relegating me to a second class marble dropper, you are stopping me from realizing my full potential.
Farkle: Riley, I'm just better than you at this.
Riley: Farkle, if you were my friend you would want me to get better. Why don't you want me to get better?
Farkle: I do. There is no situation where I wouldn't want that for you. Riley, I've always been your friend. I'm sorry.
Zay: I just thought some of you wanted nothing to do with science. Sarah, you just told me you weren't interested.
Sarah: That's because I don't stand up for myself!
Zay: And I'd hate to see it when you do...
Farkle: A real friend doesn't let another friend fail. Our failure is not your fault, Riley, our failure is on me. I should have had more faith in you.
Zay: While my official conclusion after thorough research and analysis -- try to stay with me now 'cause it's very technical...
Lucas: Yeah, how long are you gonna keep talking?
Zay: 'Til the bell rings 'cause I don't know what this stuff is.
Riley: What if the experiment isn't about the sludge at all. There's a lot of layers to experiments right?
Maya: I like blowing stuff up.
Riley: It's not about that, it's about us and the boys, who we are now and who we want to be.
Maya: Everything is their fault, stupid boys. Riley, if I can't blow stuff up or sacrifice Yogi then I just don't care about being good in science.
Riley: Well you have to. We all have to. The stuff we're learning now, science and math, it matters that we all know what they are. We can't have other people think it's easy for us.
Maya: No, I want things to be easy for me
Riley: No you don't. Cause then you won't know anything to make choices later.
Maya: Do you think I could be a scientist?
Riley: I think if you were a scientist the world would be a very dangerous place. But if you don't believe you can be a scientist, then it's even more dangerous.
Zay: Oh, did they come in here to cook us up in these little beakers and talk about us and eat us? I don't like being talked about.
Sarah: We don't either, but we're gonna be the best thing we can be no matter what anybody says.
Mr Norton: I believe right before things exploded you two were gonna present some findings.
Riley: In middle school, girls tend to drift away from science. Isn't that right, Mr. Norton?
Mr Norton: It's been happening so many years I started to keep a record. Not many figure out my experiment but those who do always benefited from the lesson.
Riley: We let what happened in here come between us. It's sludge and it muddies up what we think of each other. All of us have unlimited potential. Farkle and me, well, our beaker is clear.
Farkle: Because Riley didn't drop the marble.
Mr Norton: Why not, Riley?
Riley: I felt like if I did, I would lose a part of me that was valuable. I like science and I like figuring things out.
Mr Norton: 35 years I've been running this experiment and every year the vast majority of girls agree to drop the marble without even thinking about it. The boys do the science. Unfortunate, but true. This is the year that girls tend to lose interest and that is a very bad result.
Maya: So the real experiment is us.
Mr Norton: It is, Maya. Don't lose interest. Ok everyone, lift up your beakers. Look through them.
Lucas: I can't see you.
Maya: Yeah, there's all this stuff in the way.
Mr Norton: It's beneficial for young men and women to realize right now the value of working together as equals. In all things, because when you do, things are...clear.

International Premieres

  • June 6, 2016 (Israel)
  • June 24, 2016 (Philippines)
  • August 18, 2016 (Latin America, Brazil)


  • STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics.
  • This is the first episode that aired in 2016.
  • This episode deals with gender bias and equality.
  • This is the first episode a lesson taught by Cory is irrelevant to the main plot.
  • Maya falls asleep during class.
  • Auggie (6) plays soccer for the Frogs, Ava (10) plays for the Crushers. The Crushers beat the Frogs 29-0.
  • The cast wrapped up the filming this episode on June 30, 2015.
  • The Science classroom number is 15.
  • The life lesson is taught by Mr. Norton (Science Teacher).
  • Brenda makes her third appearance.
  • Final appearance of Haley in Season 2.
  • The girls reprise the Mayaville chant from Girl Meets Rules.
  • Mr. Norton claims to have used the Marble Experiment for 35 years.
  • Originally, the Science teacher was named Murphy, but was changed during production to Norton, probably in honor of Ed Norton (the  character played by Art Carney from the 1950's TV series The Honeymooners) who as an "underground sanitation engineer" was very familiar with sludge.  This appears confirmed when in the tag, Maya calls out the name in the same way Ralph Kramden, (Norton's best friend, played by Jackie Gleason) always did. 
  • The First Battle of Panipat occurred in Northern India in 1526, and is considered to be among the earliest conflicts which extensively used  weaponry based on the technological advances of gunpowder.
  • Yogi reveals he does not enjoy being carried around as much as Darby believes.
  • Although Nicholas Jabonero appears (with speaking dialogue) as Yogi, his name isn't seen in this episode's end credits.
  • Science Class Teams:


  • After Topanga drinks the glass of orange juice, she puts it on the table. In the next shot, the glass is full again, but in the following shot, it is once again empty.
  • After Riley and Maya throw sludge on Farkle, the camera cuts back to the girls and none of the girls have sludge on them.


Girl Meets World Logo
The image gallery for Girl Meets STEM may be viewed here.


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To view the Girl Meets STEM transcript, click here.


Girl Meets World 2x26 "Girl Meets STEM" Promo

Girl Meets World 2x26 "Girl Meets STEM" Promo

Girl Meets World - Girl Meets STEM

Girl Meets World - Girl Meets STEM


Farkle S3

You've found the next page in the Matthews' Summer Vacation Scavenger Hunt! Here is your next clue:

While Riley’s shopping for clothes, I’m going to look for souvenirs for all of our classmates. Let’s see… I need something for Yogi, Darby, Dave, Yindra, Nigel, Jeffrey… And the new girl, who doesn’t like Mr. Matthews. What’s her name again?

Learn more about Matthews Summer Vacation.
We're currently on the LAST DAY! You can go to the starting page of the entire hunt here!