In today’s world, STEM is all around us and girls, no matter their age, can take part. Whether she's interested in coding, helping the environment, fashion design, becoming a vet, or even baking, take your Girl Scout on a journey of discovery with the newest Girl Scout STEM Career Exploration badges!
Many might not realize it, but STEM skills are critical. Knowledge in STEM helps with day-to-day activities, such as managing money, problem-solving, and making a difference through community service. It can be particularly useful to your Girl Scout as she navigates life, chooses a career path, and gains financial independence. In fact, STEM occupations have grown exponentially (79% to be exact), with almost no job expected to be untouched by STEM and technology in the coming decades. Unfortunately, women remain vastly underrepresented in holding STEM degrees and within our current workforce, making up 48% of the total, but occupying only 34% of jobs in STEM. (Source: The Brookings Institute, Automation and Artificial Intelligence: How machines are affecting people and places, 2019 // World Economic Forum, The Future of Jobs Report, 2020)
This gender gap is perpetuated by gender stereotypes, math anxiety, a male-dominated STEM culture, and fewer female roles models. To address the gender gap in STEM, we need to provide girls more opportunities and support early on. We must spark their curiosity in STEM fields, develop confidence in their STEM abilities, and help them understand how STEM plays a key role in everyday life.
Did you know? Since 2015, GSUSA launched more than 100 new STEM programs and Girl Scouts earned over 5 million STEM badges. Seven in ten Girl Scouts are doing STEM programs already! And while the majority of Girl Scouts are doing multiple STEM activities annually, just ONE Girl Scout STEM activity makes a difference, especially for older girls. High school girls participating in Girl Scout STEM activities showed a 22% increase in STEM confidence, a 17% increase in STEM interest, a 22% increase in understanding the value of STEM, and a 6% increase in STEM competence. Additionally, the more frequently girls explore STEM in Girl Scouts, the more likely they are to be interested in education and careers in STEM. (Source: Girl Scout Research Institute: The Impact of Girl Scout STEM Programming, 2022)
With the STEM Career Exploration badges, Girl Scouts in every zip code can use STEM to make the world a better place. Girl Scouts of all ages explore a wide range of jobs in STEM, connect new or existing hobbies with STEM, and learn from mentors, experts, and community leaders. They have the chance to imagine a future where they're making new discoveries and are part of science-based solutions to real life problems. With engaging badge activities, your Girl Scout will explore STEM fields, have fun, and foster her interests.