Girl Scouts celebrates National STEM Awareness Month


Girl Scouts encourages girls to break down gender barriers

Staff report

RALEIGH — Today’s girls are innovators and pioneers of the future. Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines will celebrate National STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Awareness Month this April by emphasizing the importance of leadership programming designed to promote girl’s confidence and skills across STEM fields. Girl Scouts STEM programs help girls discover, create, and solve while encouraging girls to bridge the existing gender gap within these male-dominant career fields.

Just ask Girl Scout Brownie Jana Black who actively engages in all areas of STEM. “I think it is important for girls to get involved with science and math so they can be problem solvers,” said Black. “It is important for girls to get a higher education.”

At just 8 years old, Black is demonstrating grit and determination by learning geometry and algebra and is pursuing her passion in hands-on science by conducting fun and challenging experiments with her fellow Girl Scouts. Alongside the STEM programming and leadership experiences provided through Girl Scouts, she is also involved with other STEM organizations – all which have helped her design her own website, build a LEGO robot, and inspired her to continue to learn about science, technology, engineering, and math.

“We are so proud of Jana’s insatiable desire to learn math,’’ said her parents, Martin and Tia Black. “It’s hard to keep up with her desire to learn new things, but it is a good problem for us to have.”

Girl Scouts introduces girls of every age to STEM experiences relevant to everyday life. Through events like Computer Diva, Radical Robots, and Entertainment Technology to new e-commerce technology used during the Cookie Program – all girls have the opportunity to be exposed to STEM fields and experiences. Girl Scouts provide opportunities for girls to explore STEM careers, get introduced to females in STEM careers, and engage in a hands-on learning environment to develop in-demand skill sets.

“Through innovative and state-of-the-art programs, we’re able to build upon girls’ interest and passions around technology and science and provide them unique leadership experiences that will help prepare them for future STEM careers and interests,” said Laura Novotny, Ph.D., STEM program director for Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines.

According to the Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI), 74 percent of girls are interested in STEM subjects and the general field of study while 82 percent of girls see themselves as “smart enough to have a career in STEM.” Thanks to the Girl Scout programs girls become resourceful problem solvers, challenge seekers, promotors of cooperation and team building, and feel empowered to make a difference in the world.

By incorporating technology into Girl Scout programming, girls develop new skills whether they are selling cookies, engineering robots, programming computers, or learning how to use binary code. Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines has prioritized technology in an effort to help girls narrow the gap between women and men pursuing STEM fields. As one of its main program initiatives, Girl Scouts provides opportunities for girls to enhance their exposure to and deepen their engagement in technology fields.

For more information about our STEM programs or to join Girl Scouts, visit www.nccoastalpines.org.

Girl Scouts encourages girls to break down gender barriers
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