Today’s girls are scientists, and engineers, and mathematicians, and we are so proud of them! While girls are exploring the world of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), they may need a little help along the way. And it can be daunting to help with a task that isn’t in your wheelhouse. The good news? Learning alongside girls is even more valuable than doing everything perfectly.
There is a STEM gap between women and men. No seriously – it is scientifically proven. According to the American Association of University Women (AAUW), women make up only 28% of the workforce in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), and men vastly outnumber women majoring in most STEM fields in college. The gender gaps are particularly high in some of the fastest-growing and highest-paid jobs of the future, like computer science and engineering. So if you’re a mom who is helping her daughter with a science project and feeling a bit overwhelmed, there are a lot of other women out there who can relate.
Our innovative STEM badges teach girls the technical skills of STEM, while female role models (hello, Troop Leaders!) are teaching girls the soft skills to break down barriers in underrepresented fields. While a girl is earning her Mechanical Engineering badge, she is brainstorming, mapping, planning, and creating, and adjusting by following the badge guidelines. And while her Troop Leader is learning, trying, failing, and then trying again while staying positive, she sees that she doesn’t always have to be perfect and can learn something new at any age. When they see you learning alongside them, their confidence in their current knowledge and skills, as well as their ability to problem-solve, will develop. It will also help them understand that learning is a lifelong process!
So when your Troop is ready to earn a STEM badge or your daughter needs help with a virtual program, take a deep breath, follow along with the Volunteer Toolkit, and learn right alongside the Girl Scouts in your life!