Want to inspire the next Grace Hopper or Katherine Gobel? Get your daughter into Girl Scouts.
The Girl Scouting program has taken their ‘learn by doing’ model out of the campsite and into the collaboratory in their new STEAM Ahead programs And they’re bucking the “girls aren’t good at science or math” stereotype while they do it.
“These new badges, which include, Cybersecurity, Space Science and Think Like a Citizen Scientist, give girls the opportunity to influence and experience the world in their own unique way,” noted Violet M. Apple, CEO of Girl Scouts of Central Maryland.
The Girl Scouting program introduces Girl Scouts of every age to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to help them see how they can actually improve the world—whether they’re discovering how a car’s engine runs, learning to manage finances, or
caring for animals. Engagements with STEM activities are purposeful and aim to ‘inspire girls to embrace and celebrate scientific discovery.” For example, on October 19th Girl Scouts of Central Maryland will host a Cyber Challenge activity, developed by Raytheon, for middle and high school age girls to put their new skills into action.
Last year, the Girl Scouting program introduced thirty new STEM-related badges. (It’s no coincidence that the new programming coincided with Sylvia Acevedo taking the reigns as CEO. The former engineer worked for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratories, IBM, and Dell.) Badges include Think Like a Programmer, Think Like an Engineer, Coding for Good and Cybersecurity.
But you don’t have to just take our word for it that girls love diving into these new experiences — Girl Scouts has the research to prove it. Participants in Girls STEAM Ahead programs across the country say Girl Scouts has shown them that math, science, and the arts can be fun. Additionally, girls who did not like math or science a lot at the start of their STEM programs became more positive about these subjects after participating: between 42 and 56 percent liked science more and between 39 and 42 percent liked math more after the program than they had at its start.
Girls as young as 5 can begin the Girl Scout program as a Daisy, and programming continues through high school. In the Central Maryland area, there are 20,000 girls involved in Girl Scouts and about 1,400 troops.
Want to inspire your daughter? Find a troop near you at https://www.gscm.org.
Have a favorite Girl Scout STEAM project? Share it in the comments!