Girls Scouting and STEM…Clever Connection

How many women reading this blog were once Girl Scouts? I was; from a Brownie in a brown jumper and orange snap tie all the way up to the green skirt, white blouse, vest covered with badges and the green beret perched on my 7th grade head.  I have pictures to prove it, although I won’t be posting them!  And, those who were Girl Scouts or who had Scouts in the family will well remember the biggest Scouting event of the year was selling Girl Scout Cookies. They are iconic now, with candy bars and ice cream parlors and even Dunkin Donuts offering cookie flavored creations.  Back in the late 1980’s when I was Scouting, they were just our fundraiser, sold door to door; or if I was lucky, at my dad’s office.  And now, the Girl Scouts are taking the STEM world by storm, and proving that STEM is an area where women, even young women, can and do succeed!

In January of 2016, the Girl Scouts were at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) with Digital Cookie 2.0. This is their online addition to the iconic Girl Scout Cookie Program. They also showcased a brand new Girls’ STEM Summit. “ Girl Scouts is expanding its presence to give girls a unique opportunity to learn from top influencers and present our latest technology at a world renowned tradeshow, as well as showcase all the organization is doing to address girls’ involvement in STEM.”  Being able to order Girl Scout cookies online is exciting enough news for those of us who do not have a seller in the family. (Luckily, my niece is a Girl Scout and so, not only do I have a steady supply, but now that order form appears on my desk each spring!) But even more interesting is that the Girl Scouts, an organization dedicated to promoting leadership and empowerment for girls as young as five, recognizes that STEM is an area that girls need to be educated about and are working to incorporate it into their organization.  At the January event,  The Girl Scouts booth allowed visitors to take a selfie with STEM props that include all Girl Scout STEM badges; and enter a contest  by sharing on social media why they support girls in STEM by using #genSTEMgirls. When I was a Girl Scout, I do not recall many science themed badges, and now, there are STEM badges!  Plural! How far we have come!

We have several Girl Scouts at Saint Dominic Academy with more joining us in the freshmen class this year! I am certain, if asked, many of our mothers and alumnae would share that they were once Girl Scouts and would say how much the organization changed and shaped their lives. At Saint Dominic Academy, we also have STEM. We are a STEM school; with a program that begins in 7th grade and, as of this September, continues into the 10th grade. At the end of this year, we will earn our accreditation and be an official STEM school as approved by Project Lead The Way.  Last year, two of our young ladies won STEM based awards in the Hudson County Science Fair. In the spring of 2017, SDA will partner with Titan Engineering, a Union based engineering firm founded by an alumna and her husband to host a STEM Workshop for our young ladies. Here at SDA, we are embracing the empowered movement of the Girl Scouts and showcasing our love of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. You go, Girl Scouts! You go, SDA girls! #SDASTEM #genSTEMgirls

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