Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Girl Scouts Offers New Badges - STEM

Girl Scouts Offers New Badges - STEM

Girl Scouts Can Now Earn Badges for Designing Race Cars and Programming Robots

Girl Scouts Offers New Badges - STEM

The Girl Scouts of the USA introduced 23 new badges in the areas of science, technology, engineering, math, and the outdoors. This is the largest rollout of new badges for the organization in over a decade, aiming to focus on encouraging interest in STEM and environmental conservation from an early age.

The new merit badges include Programming Robots, which requires Scouts to create simple programs that could be run by a robot and understand how machines use sensors, and Race Car Design Challenge, where Scouts have to design cars, tracks, and learn how to carry out “fair tests.” The organization created select badges with contributions from tech-related groups like, SciStarter, and GoldieBlox, and they join existing STEM badges like Website Designer and Cybersecurity.

According to the organization’s announcement, Girl Scouts are “almost twice as likely as non–Girl Scouts to participate in STEM (60 percent versus 35 percent) and outdoor activities (76 percent versus 43 percent).” They also note that Girl Scouts are more likely to seek careers in STEM, law, and business — fields where women are traditionally underrepresented.

Girl Scouts Offers New Badges - STEMWhile these badge additions are a definite “yay!” moment, it’s worth noting there’s still severe discrepancies between available badges for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. For example, the Girl Scouts have two meal-related badges — Dinner Party (how to be the hostess with the mostest) and Simple Meals (serve a meal for family and friends), while the Boy Scouts cooking badge has a list of requirements, including trail meals and food-related careers.

The new badges are indicative of where the Girl Scouts are going, though, and it’s frankly super cool to see them stepping up to give us our next generation of robot-programming, race car-building women.

Girl Scouts Offers New Badges - STEM

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Girls Scout History

The Vision of Juliette Gordon Low

Juliette Gordon Low envisioned an organization that would prepare girls to meet their world with courage, confidence, and character.

In 1912, in the midst of the Progressive Era—and at a time when women in the United States couldn’t yet vote—this nearly deaf 51-year-old sparked a worldwide movement inspiring girls to embrace, together, their individuality, strength, and intellect.

Juliette, affectionately known as “Daisy” by her family and close friends, gathered 18 girls in her hometown of Savannah, Georgia, to share what she had learned abroad about a new outdoor and educational program for youth, and with this, the Girl Scout Movement was born. Along with Juliette, these first Girl Scouts blazed trails and redefined what was possible for themselves and for girls everywhere.

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