Even though the STEM program is not new in the Girl Scouts organization, the new badges may create a new breed of women leaders. Some of the new STEM badges (Image via Girl Scouts)

 

Started in 1912 by Juliette Gordon Low, the Girl Scouts organization was just a movement, an idea born from a desire to better prepare young girls for the adult life. At 51-years-old, Gordon Low aka “Daisy” gathered eighteen girls from her hometown Savannah, Georgia to teach them what she has learned through her numerous travel. At a time when women didn’t have much of a voice, her initiative served as a quiet statement about “girl power.” Despite the limitation society has placed on women, the Girl Scouts organization encourages young girls to explore the world beyond the frontiers of the “normal”; from the beginning, girl scouts learned things that were not part of the curriculum in school: telling directions by looking at the stars, played sport and organized themselves to have a positive impact in their communities. Today, the Girl Scouts organization continued the tradition of empowering their members and taking them to unchartered territories.

 

The most recent field the organization has opened its members to is STEM: Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics. For the girl scouts, it is not a matter of challenging men or trying to prove something, but it is about opening doors that used to be closed. For example, girls who earned STEM-related badges proved to be better decision makers with a more developed critical mind. They also grow up to work more lucrative jobs. This year, the Girl Scouts organization is issuing thirty new badges that the girls can earn as a result of successfully completing activities related to coding, designing robots, spotting online crimes, or protecting the environment. The new badges are meant to ignite girls’ interest in engineering and widen the list of fields they could dip their feet into. Participants of this program should be between the age of 5 and eighteen.

 

Anyone can look at the new badges as an opportunity to increase the number of women working in fields that are still considered “men’s world,” in the future. And, it probably will change the face of the world of engineers or scientists. However, there is no telling how much pressure will be on the women those girl scouts are becoming.

 

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