STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) is a fast-growing,
exciting field full of opportunities for girls. Girl Scouts helps
girls explore STEM and develop new skills. STEM develops both hard
skills, such as data analysis and knowledge of concepts, as well as
invaluable life skills such as teamwork and leadership.
STEM jobs are projected to grow by 13% as opposed to 9% for other
fields. STEM jobs also pay better; with 93% having wages above the
national average. Currently, many STEM jobs are going unfilled due to
the lack of STEM workers, especially women and minorities. This
problem is expected to continue to grow in the coming decades. Girl
Scouts is aiming to change this through our STEM pledge. Girl Scouts pledges to add 2.5
million girls to the STEM pipeline by 2025.
Girl Scout STEM Programs
With the recent release of new STEM badges and Journeys, Girl Scouts
looks to introduce girls to STEM, grow their confidence, and help them
find how STEM fits into their life.
We aim to provide STEM volunteer support through various means.
Women in STEM
Women are in the minority in most STEM fields, with the exception of
social science and biosciences, and make up one quarter of the overall
STEM workforce. The state of women in STEM is often referred to as the
leaky pipeline. While 75% of girls show an interest in STEM careers in
middle school that decreases to 15% by the end of high school. Only
12% of women in college receive their bachelor’s degree in STEM and
only 25% of these women still work in STEM after 10 years. This leaky
pipeline also continues through academia, with women earning less
masters degrees and PhDs. And this leaky pipeline may start earlier
than we think, with some studies suggesting girls start losing
interest faster than boys as early as third grade.
Access to STEM activities, encouragement, financial aid, and social
pressures are all factors in the lack of women in STEM and in women
leaving the field. Girl Scouts seeks to change the outcomes for women
in STEM by providing girls with engaging and progressive STEM
activities. GSU is starting their STEM program with this goal in mind.
The Benefits of Girl Scout STEM Programs
STEM Interest: Girls are excited about STEM subjects and want
to learn more about them. After a Girl Scout STEM program, 42-56% of
girls reported liking science more and 39-42% reported liking math
STEM Confidence: Girls have confidence in their STEM skills
and abilities. Up to 92% of Girl Scout STEM program participants
report higher confidence in their science and math abilities.
STEM Competence: Girls think scientifically to solve
problems. Girls reported that through Girl Scout STEM programs they
improved their skills in problem solving, designing solutions, and
thinking about different ways to solve problems.
STEM Value: Girls understand the importance and relevance of
STEM to people and society. Over half of girls who participated in
STEM strongly agree that scientists and engineers work on things
that help people and that STEM professionals make a difference in
Through Girl Scout STEM programs, girls are able to lead their own
exploration of STEM, engage in cooperative learning and teamwork,
solve problems, and take on leadership roles. STEM activities provide
hands-on learning opportunities and give girls the opportunities to
learn through trial and error. Girls learn about STEM careers and
report that they are more likely to take STEM classes in school. Girl
Scouts also provides mentorship opportunities and allows caring adults
to help girls feel confident in STEM. In fact, 77% of girls say that
because of Girl Scouts they are considering a career in technology.
See the STEM program benefits report from the Girl Scout Research
STEM Fun Fact!
Women have made many valuable contributions to advance STEM fields,
like developing a method to classify stars by temperature (Annie Jump
Cannon), advancing our understanding of radiation (Marie Curie),
characterizing the structure of DNA (Rosalind Franklin), and writing
the first computer program (Ada Lovelace).