Girl Scouts puts emphasis on STEM programs
From Contributed Reports
Monday, May 14, 2018
Over the past 106 years, Girl Scouts has encouraged girls to break down barriers and pursue interests in fields where women are often underrepresented with programming in the sciences, outdoors and more.
As early as 1913, Girl Scouts had badges such as Bee-Keeper, Electrician, Rock Trapper and Star Gazer, showing commitment to helping develop skills and passion in the STEM fields. Today, Girl Scouts continues to provide exciting and innovative STEM (Science, Technology, Engineer, Math) programming to help girls develop new skills and discover strengths they did not know they had.
To celebrate all things STEM, Girl Scouts is highlighting new badges and events that facilitate girl-led STEM activities that encourage cooperative learning and learning by doing.
Girl Scouts-North Carolina Coastal Pines offers numerous STEM events throughout the year so that girls can get hands-on STEM training from professionals. One such event is TechnoQuest, where girls learn about specific STEM careers by meeting female STEM professionals and completing fun educational activities together.
Another popular event is MarineQuest, where girls explore the marine habitats of the coast and participate in lab experiments with the UNCW Center for Marine Science. Events like these fully immerse girls in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, so that they are familiar with STEM and see that they can change the world like the professionals they learn from.
Additionally, during the 2018-19 Girl Scout Program year, Girl Scouts will be rolling out new badges where girls can unleash their inner innovator and complete age-appropriate activities in fields like cyber security and robotics. Girl Scouts has also partnered with NASA’s SETI Institute to offer new Space Science badges for girls that ranges from Space Science Explorer for Girl Scout Daisies (ages 5-7) that gives them a foundation of basic space knowledge, to Space Science Master for Girl Scout Ambassadors (ages 16-18), which engages them in their own explorations of space based on research NASA scientists are conducting. Another badge partnership includes Palo Alto Networks with CyberSecurity badges, which teaches girls to be problem solvers in the field of computer science.
According to the Girl Scout Research Institute, 77 percent of girls say that because of Girl Scouts, they are considering a career in technology. Studies show that around the middle school age, girls are likely to lose interest in STEM. By familiarizing girls early and consistently in STEM throughout their Girl Scout experience, girls are more likely to continue to further pursue opportunities in these fields.
STEM is not only a focus for the movement but also a passion of the CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, Sylvia Acevado. A rocket scientist and leading STEM advocate, Acevado is proof that through Girl Scouts, girls can achieve anything that they set their mind to and can make an impact through STEM. Acevado is leading GSUSA in a Girl Scout STEM Pledge that seeks to reduce the STEM gender gap by raising $70 million for STEM programming, impacting 2.5 million girls by 2025.
To learn more about the Girl Scouts STEM pledge, log on to http://blog.girlscouts.org/2017/11/the-girl-scout-stem-pledge-bridging.html.