Girl Scouts Work With SETI Institute to Skyrocket Girls' Interest in STEM by 30Seconds Mom
Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) has announced details about a five-year program called “Reaching for the Stars: NASA Science for Girl Scouts.” Funded by NASA's Science Mission Directorate and led by the SETI Institute, the program offers more girls opportunities to explore careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through new Space Science badges.
Research shows women are still vastly underrepresented in STEM fields and exposing girls to these subjects at a young age is vital to ignite their curiosity and close this gap. In response, together with five partners – SETI Institute, Girl Scouts of Northern California, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, the University of Arizona, and ARIES Scientific – GSUSA is equipping girls as young as 5 years old with the confidence and skills they need to take their STEM interest to the next level.
At the center of the collaboration are new Space Science badges for girls at every Girl Scout grade level. These badges, combined with GSUSA's larger suite of national STEM programming, provide a seamless pathway for girls to develop a lifetime love of the cosmos and its endless possibilities. The badges range from Space Science Explorer, which introduces Daisies in kindergarten and first grade to the fundamentals of space science, to Space Science Master, which engages Ambassadors in grades 11–12 in their own explorations of space based on research that NASA scientists are conducting. Other badges include Space Science Adventurer (for Brownies), Space Science Investigator (for Juniors), Space Science Researcher (for Cadettes), and Space Science Expert (for Seniors).
Additionally, thanks to NASA's funding, this summer 90 Girl Scout councils across the U.S. received kits filled with materials that allow girls to explore space science and eclipse-related activities, leading up to the August 21, 2017, Total Solar Eclipse. The kits include instructions for educational activities, such as using smartphones or digital cameras to "see" infrared light, using the sun to tell time, and building a solar oven. Many Girl Scout councils will hold eclipse-viewing events on August 21 (visit GirlScouts.org to contact a local council for information).
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