Girls push boundaries, test limits, and look at the world around them with inquisitive eyes. They’re natural scientists! Girl Scouts introduces girls of every age to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) experiences relevant to everyday life. Whether they’re discovering how a car’s engine runs, how to manage finances, or exploring careers in STEM fields, girls are fast-forwarding into the future.
Every girl needs a chance to explore the fascinating world of STEM. Girl Scouting encourages girls of all ages by offering “fun with purpose” through its K–12 national program. The Girl Scout program includes two curriculum resources: National Leadership Journeys and National Proficiency Badges. Leadership Journeys are core to Girl Scouting because they lead girls to discover what they care about and change the world. Girls explore a variety of interests along a Journey, everything from the arts to the outdoors and, of course, STEM.
50 girls attended a series of hands-on workshops in Bakersfield, designed to challenge them to discover the value of STEM-related careers for their own future success.
“The tech workshop helped me think a lot more about my choices. It helped me a lot.”
“They showed me how I could use my interests in a real job.”
“It helped me see how important an education is. I want to be a doctor.”
“I learned that every career includes at least one area of STEM.”
“I liked the geologist. Her speech was interesting and intriguing.”
“This was a really awesome experiment. I hope I can do it again.”
Girl-led: Even when a girl has an interest in STEM, she might find that boys take the lead in a school environment due to unspoken assumptions about gender roles. Girl Scouts offers a safe, supportive place for girls to seek challenges. The girl-led process encourages girls to decide which topics they want to explore and how they want to go about it.
Learning by doing: Research shows that, particularly with STEM, youth need to be hands-on, active learners. The learning-by-doing process encourages this approach. In addition, Girl Scouts’ learning-by-doing process involves a reflection step that asks girls to think about how a given activity worked and what they would do differently in the future—a key skill in scientific testing and conducting experiments.
Cooperative learning: In general, girls prefer a collaborative leadership style, rather than the traditional, top-down, “command and control” approach. The cooperative learning process gives girls the opportunity to develop leadership and STEM skills in a way that might feel most comfortable.
Girl Scouts of Central California South has partnered with Chevron for “Chevron Cares about STEM Careers,” and with Cargill for the Food Safety program.
We always encourage Troop Leaders to talk about STEM, and the different career opportunities available. Girls are interested in STEM and want to talk about it, and the different things they can do with a STEM career. We want Troop Leaders to let girls ask questions about the world, experiment and problem solve. And get girls involved in activities that will foster their STEM skills. Troop Leaders like to educate themselves about STEM opportunities so they show girls they can achieve their goals through STEM careers. And finally we like to expose girls to mentors and experts in STEM fields.