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.”
On May 4, an uncharacteristically sun-drenched Saturday, Girl Scouts of Western Washington with the Women’s Funding Alliance and many other partners convened the inaugural State of the Girl(s) Summit in DuPont, WA. More than 75 government, education, health, non-profit, philanthropy and business folks gathered with girls to discuss how we can work together across sectors to improve girls’ quality of life. Together, we took a fresh look at data trends, explored what’s working and discussed ways to work to create change. Read more