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Girl Scouts open up 23 new badges in STEM and outdoors

Photo source: flic.kr/p/oWJi4V.

Photo source: flic.kr/p/oWJi4V.

NEW YORK, N.Y. — Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) has released new badges in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and the outdoors, areas girls are not typically encouraged to explore outside of Girl Scouting. The badges are debuting on the organization’s first digital platform for volunteers, making it more accessible than ever to unleash the power of every girl.

At a time when 81 percent of American voters think preparing girls for leadership roles should be a national priority, GSUSA offers girls even more opportunities to learn skills and empower themselves with the experiences they need to succeed in life.

Girl Scouts are almost twice as likely as non–Girl Scouts to participate in STEM (60 percent versus 35 percent) and outdoor activities (76 percent versus 43 percent). With the introduction of 23 new badges, which marks the largest programming rollout in almost a decade, Girl Scouts can create algorithms, design robots and racecars, go on environmentally conscious camping trips, collect data in the great outdoors, try their hand at engineering, and so much more.

GSUSA created programming that included contributions from many notable organizations. Collaborators include the STEM-focused Code.org, GoldieBlox, SciStarter, Society of Women Engineers, and WGBH/Design Squad Global, as well as the outdoor-focused Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.

The new Girl Scout programming builds girls’ skills and encourages their interest in STEM and environmental conservation from an early age, increasing their confidence in these areas–in an all-girl environment where they feel comfortable trying new things, taking appropriate risks, and learning from failure. For more information about the new badges, visit girlscouts.org/ourprogram.

A new report from the Girl Scout Research Institute, The Girl Scout Impact Study, also shows that participating in Girl Scouts helps girls develop key leadership skills they need to be successful in life. Compared to their peers, Girl Scouts are more likely than non–Girl Scouts to be leaders because they:

  • Have confidence in themselves and their abilities (80% vs. 68%)
  • Act ethically and responsibly, and show concern for others (75% vs. 59%)
  • Seek challenges and learn from setbacks (62% vs. 42%)
  • Develop and maintain healthy relationships (60% vs. 43%)
  • Identify and solve problems in their communities (57% vs. 28%)
  • Take an active role in decision making (80% vs. 51%)

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