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With 30 New Badges, Girl Scouts Chart a Course to Become the STEM Leaders of Tomorrow


Blog_2018-New-Badges

With the school year underway and new troops are forming across the state, Girl Scouts is excited to introduce 30 new badges! The badges answer girls’ calls to learn more about cybersecurity, environmental advocacy, mechanical engineering, robotics, and space exploration.

In a safe all-girl space, Girl Scouts develop important soft skills, including confidence and perseverance, as well as hard skills, setting them up for success and preparing them to take action for a better world. Kate Lembree, a junior at Elkhorn South High School, is now considering engineering as a career possibility, thanks to her Girl Scout experiences.

“I knew I liked to make things, but I wasn’t really sure what engineers did on a daily basis. Now I know this is something I might like to explore as a career,” Lembree said. “Girls Scouts offers me a chance to explore STEM activities, a lot more than my school. My school doesn’t offer any STEM classes. They have AP classes, but no engineering classes or opportunities to build things.”

Today’s youth are more vocal than ever about the change they want to see, and Girl Scouts are the most equipped with the skills needed to make a real impact. The results are proven: girls who participate in Girl Scouts are more than twice as likely to exhibit community problem-solving skills than girls who don’t (57 percent versus 28 percent).

The unique Girl Scout environment provides fun, exciting and essential experiences that carry into girls’ future careers and life success; the KPMG Women's Leadership Study shows that early exposure to leadership has a significant impact on a woman’s perceptions of her ability to lead. Additionally, 76 percent of women today wish they had learned more about leadership and had more leadership opportunities while growing up, demonstrating how imperative it is for girls and volunteers to join Girl Scouts.

Omaha resident and Girl Scout mother Connie Bitcon said her fifth-grade daughter discovers unique STEM opportunities through Girl Scouts.

“My daughter attended a Girl Scout Cyber Girl Camp where she learned about Internet safety, met two female FBI agents and even built a computer from scratch,” Bitcon said. “She loved it and I love that Girl Scouts gives her a chance to explore STEM-related topics.”

The new programming for girls in grades 6–12 includes:

  • Environmental Stewardship badges that prepare girls to be environmental advocates who address problems, find solutions, and protect the natural world.
  • Badges that teach girls how to program, design, and showcase robots, completing the suite of Robotics badges introduced for grades K–5 last year.
  • The College Knowledge badge for Girl Scouts in grades 11 and 12, the first badge completely dedicated to college exploration! By showing girls how to research the admissions process, financial aid, and other factors, the badge fills a specific need that girls asked for—and that many do not have support for outside Girl Scouts.

Girls in grades K–5 can now earn badges in:

  • Environmental Stewardship, through which girls learn how to respect the outdoors and take action to protect the natural world.
  • Cybersecurity, introducing girls to age-appropriate online safety and privacy principles, information on how the internet works, and how to spot and investigate cybercrime.
  • Space Science, enabling girls to channel their inner NASA scientist as they learn about objects in space and how astronomers conduct investigations.
  • Mechanical Engineering for Girl Scout Juniors, through which girls in grades 4 and 5 design paddle boats, cranes, and balloon-powered cars, learning about buoyancy, potential and kinetic energy, machines, and jet propulsion. Following last year’s introduction of Mechanical Engineering badges for girls in grades K–3, all Girl Scouts in elementary school can now have hands-on engineering experiences.