Girl Scouts has a long history of engaging girls in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities. The first Girl Scout badges that were STEM related, were introduced in 1913 – the electrician badge and the flyer badge. Today, Girl Scouts across the country continue to encourage girls to explore and pursue careers in STEM, which increases their awareness of opportunities in these specific fields. Our goal is to have every Girl Scout explore different paths of STEM every year while challenging her to further her future in a STEM career.
Girls build their interest in STEM by:
S – SEEK
“Science is boring! Or STEM reminds me of nerdy, lab-coat-wearing, geeky goggles/glasses MAN holding a beaker!”
Not in the eyes of Girl Scouts, especially GSCP2P girls! SEEK out the opportunities to have fun while participating in hands-on STEM activities! Whether girls are discovering how a car’s engine runs, becoming math whizzes or learning about careers in STEM fields, SEEK ways you can challenge yourself the these activities.
Girl Scout Journeys
Did you know that all of the Journeys have STEM included in the activities? Girls can take a new approach to Journeys so they will still be able to take advantage of the different activities.
These links are available to help you identify which activities may be able to relate to science for each program grade level. Girls can also learn more about Journeys under each program grade level.
The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting
Additional GSUSA STEM Badges that girls can earn are featured in The Girls Guide to Girl Scouting.
- Brownie – Computer Expert
- Junior – Product Designer
- Cadette – Science of Happiness
- Senior – Website Designer
- Ambassador – Good Credit
- All Program Levels – Make Your Own
Girls and parents can also explore these sites together.
T – TRY
Learning by doing is the best way to build girls confidence, especially in STEM. GSCP2P’s STEM programs and initiatives are supported by local organizations, companies and academic leaders that serve as Community Partnership Programs to help us implement our innovative STEM programming.
Here are a few examples of current STEM community partnerships:
- Bricks 4 Kidz
- NC Arboretum
- College Innovation
- Hear Applause
- Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute
- Society Women of Engineers
- American Chemical Society
Be sure to check out these amazing workshops and events throughout the year on our online calendar! If you would like to support a program or a girl with attending these STEM opportunities, please contact the council.
E – EXPERIENCE
Where else have you had the opportunity to build and program a robot? Build your very own electronic game board? Filter water with the material you have on a camping trip? Create a pencil bag for a friend? Create a “green” sustainable room from the inside out? Make a merry-go-round in a crazy carnival? If you haven’t had the chance to EXPERIENCE these opportunities, don’t miss out on your chance this year!
Girls Go Robotics
For students aged 6-18, it’s the hardest fun you’ll ever have. For team mentors, coaches and volunteers, it’s the most rewarding adventure you’ll ever undertake. For sponsors, it’s the most enlightened investment you could ever make. FIRST is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization devoted to helping young people discover and develop a passion for science, engineering, technology and math. The annual program culminates in an international robotics competition and celebration where teams win recognition, gain self-confidence, develop people and life skills, make new friends and perhaps discover an unforeseen career path.
GSCP2P has been participating in the FIRST program for several years while serving over hundreds of Girl Scouts. Our GIRLS ONLY teams, spread across our council, have not only made a huge impact on the coach’s lives but the girl’s lives as well.
Program areas include:
Jr. FIRST Lego League (Jr. FLL)
Jr. FIRST Lego League allows girls ages 6-9 to experience a hands-on program designed to capture their inherent curiosity and direct it toward discovering the possibilities of improving the world around them by building a model using Lego elements. Guided by adult coaches, teams use Lego bricks to build a model that moves and develop a Show-Me Poster to illustrate their Journey. The cost is $20 per girl + $15 for non-registered Girl Scouts.
FIRST Lego League (FLL)
FIRST Lego League challenges girls ages 9-14 to think like scientists and engineers in a fun, hands-on learning environment. This robotics program allows you can build, test, and program a robot to solve a set of missions. The cost is $35 per girl + $15 for non-registered Girl Scouts.
A general season overview for Jr. FLL and FLL includes;
- June to August – Recruitment season
- June to August – Teams formed
- July to November – Season begins
- September – FLL Challenge released
- November – Regional Tournament
- December – North Carolina State Tournament
- April – World Festival
Coaches do NOT need any prior experience or technical expertise, only the willingness to acquire basic knowledge of the program and the excitement to ask the girls questions and watch them go!
- FIRST Lego League Empowering Essentials (FLLEE)
- Meeting Structure
- Team Journal Page
- NC FIRST Robotics
- Lego Mindstorms NXT Robotics
- NXT Programs
FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) / FIRST Robotics Challenge (FRC)
FTC is designed for those who want to compete head-to-head, using a sports model. Teams are responsible for designing, building and programming their robots to compete in an alliance format against other teams. The robot kit is reusable from year-to-year and is programmed using a variety of languages. Teams, including coaches, mentors and volunteers, are required to develop strategy and build robots based on sound engineering principles. Awards are given for the competition as for well as for community outreach, design and other real-world accomplishments.
“The Varsity Sport for the Mind,” FRC combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Under strict rules, limited resources and time limits, teams of 25 students or more are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills and build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. It’s as close to “real-world engineering” as a student can get. Volunteer professional mentors lend their time and talents to guide each team.
GSCP2P does not currently have an FTC or FRC Robotics Team. However if you are interested in being on the team or being a coach, please e-mail our STEM Program Manager.
Girls Go Techbridge
Girls Go Techbridge is a series of programs-in-a-box designed just for Girl Scouts in grades 4-12, along with their leaders and volunteer role models, to enjoy a hands-on introduction to engineering. Each box features interactive projects and career activities to help girls realize their potential through science, technology and engineering.
Techbridge is adaptable to almost any situation: troop meetings, service unit events or camporees, full day events, lock-ins, camping trips, day camps, weekly series and many other opportunities.
Complete Introduction Techbridge Trainings are set up to provide adults with a better understanding of exactly what to expect during a checkout. Trainings are not required but are HIGHLY recommended. Please check our online calendar for dates and locations.
Adults, if you would like a specific training on a certain topic in your area, please find 6-20 adult volunteers, a date, location and a two-hour time slot and e-mail our STEM Program Manager. Trainings cost $5, which cover the materials and incentives that will be used during the training.
To reserve a Techbridge box, please contact the council at least six weeks in advance to check the availability of the box and arrange a time to meet.
For more information about Techbridge, please click here.
M – MASTER
STEM is a hot topic in our girls’ vocabulary these days, and it will forever be changing. Here are ways that you can MASTER what your girls are learning and ways for you to keep up with your own professional development. What can you do to be a better influence in a young girl’s life to help her MASTER her STEM future?
Role Models Matter
How do you spark a girl’s interest in STEM? Are you a role model in someone’s life? Maybe you are a role model and don’t even realize it! If you are a parent, volunteer, aunt, uncle, grandparent or teacher, then consider taking this opportunity to be a part of the Role Models Matter Online Training.
This may be something entirely different for you, but anyone (yes, this includes men) interested in learning these methods that can be used in other scenarios is encouraged and welcome to take this online training
Our Role Models Matter program connects students with women and men working in the STEM fields. Fame isn’t a prerequisite to volunteering as a role model, just a willingness to share your story, letting girls hear firsthand what it’s like to have a career in the fields of STEM and what it takes to get there.
GSCP2P and Techbridge are sharing best practices on how to engage girls in science, technology and engineering through hands-on activities, real-world applications and career connections. After taking a part in the Role Models Matter Online Training, participants will walk away with tips for connecting with girls, strategies to highlight how cool and important science, technology and engineering careers are to society. You will be able to focus on ways to dispel common stereotypes and will receive a best practice toolkit with resources for classroom/troop visits and hosting field trips.
Generation STEM: What Girls Say about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math
Generation STEM is national research report investigating girls’ perceptions, attitudes and interests in the subjects and general field of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) from the voices of girls themselves. The report consists of a literature review, as well as qualitative (focus group) and quantitative (survey) research with 1,000 girls across the country. The study finds that girls are interested in STEM and aspire to STEM careers, but need further exposure and education about what STEM careers can offer, and how STEM can help girls make a difference in the world. Learn more.
Parents and STEM
As a parent, you want your daughter to have access to the best education possible. Family support is key in the success of a girl. The reality is that in today’s world, the competition for jobs is global and your daughter needs a broad set of skills in order to ensure life-long success. A solid STEM education can help her obtain the skills needed to compete and thrive at school and at work in the 21st century global economy but often we find this is not enough. Girl Scouts can help girls pursue their interests beyond the classroom, bringing practical application to classroom concepts. Learn more.
For more information about GSCP2P STEM programs, or if you wish to sign-up to be on our quarterly STEM mailing, please e-mail Valerie Wooten, STEM Program Manager or call 336-369-7432.