Tuesday, September 3, 2019

New Girl Scout Space Science Badges Are Ready for Takeoff!



Girl Scouts are always aiming for the stars—literally! On July 24, 2019, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) held a congressional briefing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing and share our commitment to ensuring that every girl has the chance to explore and build her interest in space science.

Sydne Jenkins, an Ambassador Girl Scout and Girl Scout Space Academy alum; Cole Grissom, of GSUSA; and Pamela Harman of the SETI Institute took part in a panel discussion about the importance of fostering girls’ interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) at an early age.

According to recent studies, girls develop their “STEM identity” by third grade. By the time they reach middle school and high school, they’re at risk of opting out of STEM entirely—and that’s a major contributor to the STEM gender gap. But Girl Scouts has both the reach and proven programming to motivate a new generation of girls to explore STEM and become confident leaders. At every grade level, girls can engage in fun, hands-on activities that ignite their curiosity and strengthen their STEM identities.

The panelists also discussed Girl Scouts’ three new Space Science badges, which were announced this July. These stellar new badges allow girls to explore topics such as the universe and their place in it, properties of light, and inspirational space science careers. These badges, combined with Girl Scouts’ larger suite of STEM programming, provide a seamless pathway for girls to develop a lifetime love of the cosmos and its endless possibilities.

Among the congress members who gave remarks at the briefings was all-star Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee Chair, Kendra Horn (D-OK). Horn, a Gold Award Girl Scout, shouted out GSUSA’s mission to close the STEM gender gap.

“As we work here…to make sure that we’re building the programs and continuing to work toward [space] exploration, we are also intentionally building pathways for STEM education, to bring more people of different backgrounds in—more women, more individuals from different communities—and that is why the work you’re doing is so important,” said Rep. Horn.

It’s no surprise that many female astronauts in the United States are Girl Scout alums. With the new Space Science badges, more Girl Scouts have the opportunity to shoot for the moon and blaze new trails in STEM!
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