By: Laura Novotny, Ph.D., STEM Programs Director
For over 100 years, the mission of the Girl Scouts has been to build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. And while our mission has remained the same, the skills and experiences we strive to provide—including our Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs—have been enhanced and updated in order to move at the speed of today’s girls.
Consider the following facts:
- More than 75% of tomorrow’s jobs will require the use of computers.
- Over the next 10 years, the number of STEM jobs in the United States is projected to increase at a rate equal to three times the increase in the number of non-STEM jobs.
- There are not enough qualified job candidates in the United States to fill all of these projected positions.
This shift toward a more highly-technical workforce is reflected in the council’s emphasis on quality STEM programming. After all, it is the Girl Scout’s mission to build girls with the skills necessary to effect positive change in the society of today and into tomorrow!
During the 2015–2016 program year, the Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines offered more than 30 fun STEM events. Events, such as Engineer It!, Computer Expert, and TechnoQuest, provide the girls with opportunities to conduct scientific investigations, engage in the engineering design process, and interact directly with female STEM professionals. Research suggests that girls are more likely to remain interested in STEM fields if they see female scientists and engineers that look like them, and have women in their corner to encourage them. Mentorship is a key component to the success of our council’s STEM programs because it helps the girls see that they do belong.
Other council STEM programs, such as Letterboxer, Geocacher, Becoming a Naturalist, and Bug Out, encourage the girls to take science into the great outdoors, show them the importance of understanding the natural world, and highlight ways they can make a different in the world.
Help position your girls for a lifetime of success by encouraging them to take advantage of the exciting STEM programs the council offers. You can register for our STEM programs on our website or through your MyGS account!