The Girl Scouts have added 23 new badges that include 15 related to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) in an effort to encourage girls to pursue careers in related fields. Girl Scout STEM badges are awarded for coding, website design, robotics, designing model race cars, and much more. Girl Scout CEO Sylvia Acevedo has a unique interest in STEM education for girls as she really was a ‘rocket scientist’ in the past when she worked for Jet Propulsion Laboratories.

Sylvia Acevedo became the permanent CEO of Girl Scouts in May, and is determined to address “the lack of exposure many girls have to STEM” in many places across the country. Over the next two years, the badges will be available to girls from Kindergarten all the way through 12th grade. According to the STEM page on girlscouts.org, these programs tap into the natural tendency of girls to “look at the world around them with inquisitive eyes, experiment and push boundaries.” Participation in the STEM programs doesn’t just fuel the interest of girls in related studies and fields, but it also inspires girls to discover something else very important to them—leadership, as the programs are also a part of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE).

A recent study revealed that 74% of Girl Scouts who are involved in the STEM programs agree that hands-on participation allows for them to learn more. The Girl Scout programs are a great way to introduce girls to STEM-related studies, and the benefits are multiplied when these interests can be further developed in their schools.

While the Girl Scouts offers an outside learning environment, Robots4STEM offers a cost-effective STEM program for schools, especially for those with tighter budgets. By integrating Robots4STEM into their classrooms, teachers with limited technology experience can easily provide lessons for their students.

The platform also allows students to learn at their own pace with the use of a drag-and-drop coding language, JettLingo, that is used to program a robot named Jett, or even students’ personal avatars. Robots4STEM shares the Girl Scouts’ involvement in promoting diversity within STEM education for all genders, ethnic groups, and ages. Together, schools and the Girl Scouts can help girls find and develop a lifelong interest in STEM fields.

Image: Girl Scout STEM