The Girls Scouts of America announced 23 new STEM-related and outdoor badges members can earn in an effort to recognize and encourage girls interested in fields related to science, technology, engineering, and math.
In a press release issued Tuesday, the organization said the 23 badges represent its largest program rollout in nearly a decade, and include recognitions in areas like creating algorithms, designing robots and racecars, going on environmentally conscious camping trips, collecting outdoors data, and engineering.
The Girl Scouts also announced collaborations with numerous STEM-focused organizations that will assist their members, including Code.org, GoldieBlox, Sci-Starter, Society of Women Engineers, WGBH/Design Squad Global, and Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.
"At Girl Scouts, we believe there is a wellspring of passion, determination, and courage residing within every girl ― and our organization offers a nurturing environment where she can develop skills to unleash her potential," Sylvia Acevedo, the chief executive of Girl Scouts of America, said in a statement.
"Data shows Girl Scouts excel in life because of our innovative programming, so we've expanded our offerings to include even more engaging, fun, and impactful activities for girls of all ages — including Daisies as young as 5 years old," Acevedo continued.
Fortune magazine writer Madeline Farber stated the new badges reflect a growing trend of getting more girls interested in STEM fields earlier.
"There's a good reason why the organization is putting such an emphasis on STEM and the great outdoors: Girl Scouts of the USA wants to get more girls interested in STEM and environmental conservation from a young age," Farber wrote. "Women make up only 29 percent of the science and engineering workforce, according to a report. Just 18 percent of computer science majors are female."
The organization claimed that Girl Scouts are nearly twice as likely to participate in STEM projects and outdoor activities over non-members.
"Simply put, Girl Scouts is on the cusp of a leadership renaissance for girls, and we're always looking for more go-getters, innovators, risk-takers, and leaders to enhance our ranks," Acevedo stated. "Join now for a lifetime of opportunities that champion the power of every girl."
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