Girl Scouts of the USA wants to add a million girls to the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) talent pipeline by 2025.
Last November, they held a day-long event in the nation’s capital to get girls to embrace STEM.
For one Girl Scout in Washington D.C., her STEM journey is already off to a great start.
“I’ve enjoyed working with other Girl Scouts to learn how STEM can impact my life and how we can make the world a better place,” Alexandra Dixon said during a Capitol Hill briefing on DiscoverE’s Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day held February 2018.
Through Girl Scouts’ partnership with Raytheon, Alexandra will be starting a new computer science program and have the opportunity to learn more about STEM careers in cybersecurity, robotics, and artificial intelligence.
“Women are significantly underrepresented in STEM professions, and we want to help change that,” said Shirali Patel, a cybersecurity program manager at Raytheon.
“At a time when technology is transforming the way we live and work, we can – and should – show young women a clear path to taking an active role. Engineers Week and Girl Day are opportunities to show girls the world of possibilities available in STEM, and demonstrate how exciting math and science careers can be. At Raytheon, we strive to help girls build confidence, re-shape their perspective, and see themselves as the robotics engineers, data scientists and cybersecurity professionals who will create a better tomorrow,” Patel said.
Other speakers at the 2018 briefing shared messages for encouraging girls in STEM and showed how even one engineering experience for a girl can make a difference to her future.
Speakers at the briefing included:
- Dr. Michael Smith – DiscoverE Diversity Council Chair, Deputy Executive Director, Internal Operations of The National GEM Consortium
- Girl Scouts of the USA
- Sukari Brown- Annual Convention Planning Committee Vice-Chairperson 2017-2018, NSBE
- Kaitlyn Ludlum- Society of Women Engineers (SWE) high school member
In addition to the many Girl Day activities planned across the United States, schools, engineering clubs, libraries and others organized screenings for girls to watch Dream Big, the giant screen film that transforms how we think about engineering as it takes viewers on a journey of discovery.
“I can’t wait to explore different STEM careers, and learn more about how technology shapes our world,” Alexandra said.
In July 2017, Girl Scouts of the USA released new badges in STEM, areas girls are not typically encouraged to explore outside of Girl Scouting. The badges debuted on the organization’s first digital platform for volunteers.