Friday, September 14, 2012

Girl Scouts STEM Seminar Tours Colorado

"For those of you hoping this column will be about me gorging myself on Thin Mints and accompanying a troop on their crusade to sell the most cookies possible, I’m sorry to disappoint," writes Sarah Jane Kyle in a column for The Coloradoan. "We’re going to go a little deeper than that — though I’m sure that experience would have been pretty memorable."

"For my volunteer experience," she continues, "I delved into one such opportunity and shadowed a group of female Colorado State University students, all members of the Society of Women Engineers, during a LightenUp! science day for local Girl Scouts. While math and science are typically not considered my strong suits — maybe that’s why I’m a writer by trade — I have to admit that the things I saw during this optically focused day of experiments were pretty cool."

According to the Girl Scout Research Institute study Generation STEM: What Girls Say about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, 74 percent of teen girls are interested in STEM subjects and the general field of study. Further, a high 82 percent of girls see themselves as "smart enough to have a career in STEM." And yet, few girls consider it their number-one career option: 81 percent of girls interested in STEM are interested in pursuing STEM careers, but only 13 percent say it's their first choice. Additionally, girls express that they don't know a lot about STEM careers and the opportunities afforded by these fields, with 60 percent of STEM-interested girls acknowledging that they know more about other careers than they do about STEM careers.

"The seminar, led by former Girl Scout and CSU professor Kaarin Goncz and the CSU volunteers, will travel across Colorado to promote STEM studies and share the stories of scientifically employed women," continues Sarah Jane Kyle. "It will give girls not only the knowledge to succeed in science but the inspiration to pursue a scientific career if they’re interested."