Why is STEM Important?
Science, Technology, Education and Math careers offer the jobs of the future.
Women are underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math, collectively referred to as “STEM.” Women’s representation is low at all levels in STEM, from interest and intent to majoring in a STEM field in college, to having a career in a STEM field in adulthood. Studies show that girls lose interest in math and science during middle school, and STEM interest for girls is low, compared to boys.
Expertise in STEM fields promotes inventiveness, scientific discovery, and efficiency while also opening up new job and economic opportunities. Due to technological advances, STEM jobs in the United States in the past ten years have grown at three times the pace of non-STEM jobs, and are projected to continue growing at this pace through the next decade.
Why get girls involved in STEM through Girl Scouting? According to the Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI):
• Girls like STEM – 74% of teen girls are interested in STEM, particularly the understanding how things work,
problem solving, doing hands-on activities, and asking questions.
• Girls who are more interested in STEM fields have greater exposure to STEM through someone in a STEM career
and have had more exposure through STEM extracurricular activities.
• Although interest in STEM is high, few girls consider it their number one career choice, given competing opportunities
and interests. 81% of STEM-interested girls express interest in a career in a STEM field - however only 13% say that it is
their first choice.
• Learn more about GSRI’s STEM report, including girls from GSCB.
How can you connect your girls to STEM opportunities through Girl Scouting?
The Girl Scout Leadership experience has a strong focus on STEM. Read more about the national program, including Leadership Journeys and badges in this field.
Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay is a STEM Champion through GSUSA for our strong advocacy initiatives and programming for STEM. We have developed high-level programming with partners in the community to encourage girls to learn about STEM. For younger girls, it’s hands-on fun. Older girls will also have exposure to STEM careers and professional women in the field.
GSCB’s STEM Strands and Strategies Focus
We are focusing on these target areas in programming:
Engineering and Scientific Processes -- understanding the process of designing a product as a solution to a problem
and using experimental/field observations to discover how the world works.
Innovation, Creation and Communication -- understanding the processes of imagining, designing and creating products
and communicating ideas.
Biotechnology and biomedical engineering -- understanding how technology can monitor and promote health, diagnose
and predict disease and provide solutions to human health issues.
Culinary Science -- understanding how chemical, biological and physical processes are involved in creating a
successful dish (as measured by: sensory, efficiency, economy indicators).
Events -- opportunities for girls to interact with scientists, engineers, business professionals and peers regarding
Citizen Scientist -- conducting chemical, biological and environmental experiments and data collection on natural
systems to contribute to databases for analysis and interpretation of patterns and trends.
GSCB STEM Programming
• Programs/Series – From robotics to healthy eating, our programs are available for troops, as council-run programs and series, and as part of after school programs for underprivileged girls.
• Specialized STEM camps: Summer camps at Camp Country Center as well as specific camps at Camp Grove Point
have a strong focus on STEM.
• Partnerships: GSCB partners with many local companies, educational institutions and organizations to provide
programming for girls.
Engineering Your Tomorrow: For 24 years, DuPont has introduced Girl Scout Cadettes to careers in engineering and science. Engineering Your Tomorrow features an entire day of fun, hands-on activities and experiments that illustrate basic scientific and engineering principles. Designed to reach girls before they enter high school, Engineering Your Tomorrow inspires them to consider STEM fields as potential college majors and careers. The program shows girls, their leaders and parents that engineering and science are fun.
Engineering Fridays: Girl Scout Juniors explored engineering and science during this three-time series through the University of Delaware.
Women in Aviation: The Delaware 99s, a group of women pilots, show Girl Scout Cadettes the variety of careers available in the aviation industry.
Society of Women Engineers: Through the University of Delaware, this organization has offered several engineering and technology programs for girls. Several of their members are Girl Scout alumnae, a clear example of how their experiences in discovering science through Girl Scouting led them to choose engineering as their college major.
Career Dine-Arounds: Cadette, Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts are starting to think about their careers. One of the best ways to learn about the options available to them is through meeting successful women in a variety of occupations. Dine-Arounds help girls discover possible exciting options and gives guidance for educational choices. Hosts provide a simple dinner — pizza and salad is popular — for 15– 20 girls and share information, personal educational and career backgrounds and hands-on activities or a tour of the workplace.
STEM Programming at the Lynn W. Williams Science and Technology Lodge: The lodge is the first Platinum-certified LEED building in the state of Delaware. It provides an educational experience in green technology in an environmentally sustainable building. The science lab offers programs in chemistry, astronomy, biology and more. Surrounding the lodge are 40 acres of woods, meadows, trails and a stream, perfect for outdoor exploration.
Science Program Kits - sponsored by Agilent:
Hands-on kits provided by Agilent Technologies are available to adults who have completed training. These science activities apply to Girl Scout awards and are great for troop projects and service unit events. To arrange for training or to reserve kits, contact Catherine Houghton at email@example.com or 302-456-7150. Kits are $5 per troop - any number of girls.
You keep the kits!
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Other STEM resources: