At Girl Scouts of Western Washington, we’re always looking for new ways to engage girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).
So last spring, we gathered a group of girls together to talk science. They were in grades K-8 and from diverse, low-income communities where access to STEM opportunities is often limited. We didn’t tell the girls what the conversation was about beforehand—we wanted to see their immediate, real-time response to the idea of STEM programming.
When we introduced the word “science,” their reactions were alarming.
Several girls walked out. Others said we’d tricked them. Almost every girl said science was boring, and many said it was difficult, hard or frightening. Almost no one could describe what an engineer does.
We took those reactions as a challenge: how could we get these girls to engage with STEM—without scaring them off? Read more
It’s back-to-school time again! And for thousands of kids and teens across western Washington, that means it’s back to science class … even if it’s not everyone’s favorite subject.
This is especially true for girls: only 14% of girls say they want to become scientists.
But this year, fourth and fifth graders in the Edmonds School District will be using something new to explore science, technology, engineering and math: special STEM Kits created by Gold Award Girl Scout Jessica Dyck.
“Science has always just clicked for me,” says Jessica. “I’ve always loved puzzles and how things work together, and I wanted to find a way to share my love of science with others. I wanted to help students understand the magic behind science.”
One tenacious Girl Scout came back swinging after vandals destroyed her Gold Award project.
When Girl Scouts go for their Gold Award, they typically put in over 100 hours of work, raise hundreds of dollars, and wrangle dozens of volunteers and community partners.
In short: they do a lot of work.
So when vandals ripped apart Girl Scout Candace Loftus’ Gold Award project—a Snoqualmie Valley Trail rest area with a bench, hitching rail, information sign and watering post—it was a big blow.
By the time the damage was discovered, her bench had been torn out of the ground, carved into and partially burned. The rest spot was empty and bare.
The first thing Candace felt was outraged. “I was angry and upset,” she says. “I felt so disappointed.” But the second thing Candace felt was determination: “I wasn’t going to let the vandals win!”
This summer, over 40 foster kids in western Washington will get the chance to play dress up, try on a cool career and make some great memories.
And it’s all because of Girl Scout Kelsey Kim.
To earn her Gold Award, this Bremerton high school student dedicated over 126 hours to build a space where foster kids can engage in play therapy at summer camp. Read more