For many girls, science might as well be spelled
s-c-a-r-y. This is often because they are in mixed gender environments where it’s difficult to explore and ask questions without fear of judgment. Girls may worry they’ll be made fun of for not knowing an answer, or be less inclined to experiment if they feel like they won’t be supported in their quest for discovery. Girl Scout Research Institute
studies reveal that, in the area of STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – a large percentage of girls (74%) have expressed great interest in these subjects. However, 57 percent of girls polled concur that if they were to pursue a STEM career, they would “have to work harder than a man to be taken seriously.”
Girl Scouts believes it’s important to dispel gender myths like this, and work toward equality in STEM, because it's an integral part of girls' realities. Most jobs our girls will be doing in the future will require at least STEM literacy, if not STEM proficiency, and many of our most pressing civic debates and contemporary societal issues are rooted in STEM issues. This generation of girls likes STEM, and wants to do STEM, so it's our job to figure out how to support girls in their STEM explorations.
We believe that science should be a normal, expected part of a girl's Girl Scout experience, and, with the help of our volunteers, have figured out ways to insert science into the everyday fabric of Girl Scouting.
Check out some of the fun, hands-on, girl-led STEM workshops Girl Scouts of Western Washington has held throughout the year, and learn what girls and adult volunteers had to say about their experiences!
“We learned that if you use Alka-Seltzer and water…BOOM!”
“Before the robot competition, I used to think we didn’t need math in the real world. I mean, you could just do most of the stuff on a calculator. When we were programming our robot, we had to figure out how far it would go on a mission. Instead of trial and error, which would take a really long time to get the calculations right, we used math to figure it out. We measured how many inches around the wheels were and how far out the robot had to travel. It helped me realize you can’t rely on calculators for everything.”
“You can almost see the little gears in their heads going around as they figure something out. We have scientists in the making!”
“My most rewarding experience was watching the girls become more interested, take more initiative and ultimately own the project.”
“It’s not about the answer, it’s the process.”
Some of the latest conversations about STEM as it relates to Girl Scouts can be found here
Get involved with STEM! Here's how:
Give a girl the gift of STEM! As a member, she can attend STEM events, have a blast at camp, travel the world, or be part of a troop.
Share your talents for a day, a month, or a year: volunteer!