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Thirty New Girl Scout Badges Now Available to Power Girl Leadership in Key 21st Century Issues - 07/18/18

Thirty New Girl Scout Badges Now Available to Power Girl Leadership in Key 21st Century Issues

The all-girl organization proven to equip girls to create positive change has released new badges in environmental advocacy, space science, robotics, and more.

Portland, OR (July 18, 2018)— Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) revealed 30 new badges yesterday that are now available exclusively for girls ages 5–18 that not only enhance the one-of-a-kind Girl Scout experience, but also address some of society’s most pressing needs, such as cybersecurity, environmental advocacy, mechanical engineering, robotics, computer science, and space exploration. In a safe all-girl space, Girl Scouts develop important soft skills, including confidence and perseverance, as well as hard skills, setting them up for success and preparing them to take action for a better world. Today’s youth are more vocal than ever about the change they want to see, and Girl Scouts are the most equipped with the skills needed to make a real impact. The results are proven: girls who participate in Girl Scouts are more than twice as likely to exhibit community problem-solving skills than girls who don’t (57 percent versus 28 percent).

The unique Girl Scout environment provides fun, exciting, and essential experiences that carry into girls’ future careers and life success; the KPMG Women's Leadership Study of more than 3,000 professional and college women shows that early exposure to leadership has a significant impact on a woman’s perceptions of her ability to lead. Additionally, 76 percent of women today wish they had learned more about leadership and had more leadership opportunities while growing up, demonstrating how imperative it is for girls and volunteers to join Girl Scouts.  

The new programming for girls in grades 6–12 includes:

  • Environmental Stewardship badges, GSUSA’s first-ever badge series focused on environmental advocacy. Girls in grades 6–12 prepare for outdoor experiences and take action on environmental issues. Although Girl Scouts have been advocating for the environment since the organization’s founding 106 years ago, these badges are the first to specifically prepare girls to be environmental advocates who address problems, find solutions, and protect the natural world (funded by the Elliott Wildlife Values Project).
  • Badges that teach girls how to program, design, and showcase robots, completing the suite of Robotics badges GSUSA first introduced for grades K–5 last year.
  • The College Knowledge badge for Girl Scouts in grades 11 and 12, the first badge completely dedicated to college exploration. By showing girls how to research the admissions process, financial aid, and other factors, the badge fills a specific need that girls asked for—and that many do not have support for outside Girl Scouts.
  • Two Girl Scout Leadership Journeys: Think Like a Programmer (funded by Raytheon) provides a strong foundation in computational thinking and the framework for Girl Scouts’ first ever national Cyber Challenge, coming in 2019. The Think Like an Engineer Journey exposes girls to design thinking to understand how engineers solve problems. As with all Leadership Journeys, girls complete hands-on activities and use their newly honed skills to take action on a problem in their community. The programming aims to prepare girls to pursue careers in fields such as cybersecurity, computer science, and robotics.

Girls in grades K–5 can now earn badges in:

  • Environmental Stewardship, through which girls learn how to respect the outdoors and take action to protect the natural world (funded by the Elliott Wildlife Values Project).
  • Cybersecurity, introducing girls to age-appropriate online safety and privacy principles, information on how the internet works, and how to spot and investigate cybercrime (funded by Palo Alto Networks).
  • Space Science, enabling girls to channel their inner NASA scientist as they learn about objects in space and how astronomers conduct investigations (funded by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate and led by the SETI Institute).
  • Mechanical Engineering for Girl Scout Juniors, through which girls in grades 4 and 5 design paddle boats, cranes, and balloon-powered cars, learning about buoyancy, potential and kinetic energy, machines, and jet propulsion. Following last year’s introduction of Mechanical Engineering badges for girls in grades K–3, the addition of these badges for Girl Scout Juniors means that all Girl Scouts in elementary school can now have hands-on engineering experiences.

“Across the country, people are having powerful conversations about the increasingly strong voice of young people who want to change the world and the lack of women in leadership positions in the United States—two topics Girl Scouts is uniquely positioned to address,” said GSUSA CEO Sylvia Acevedo. “Whether they are fighting cybercrime, exploring how engineers solve problems, or advocating for issues affecting their community, Girl Scouts are learning how to proactively address some of the foremost challenges of today while also building skills that will set them up for a lifetime of leadership. I am so proud that our new programming continues to push girls to be forward-thinking and equips them with the skills they need to make the world a better place. We believe in the power of all girls, and we invite them to strengthen their unique abilities by joining Girl Scouts.”

GSUSA works with top organizations in fields that interest today’s girls. Combined with Girl Scouts’ expertise in girl leadership, these organizations and specialists advise and inform on content to provide the most cutting-edge programming available to girls. Content collaborators include Code.org, the Cyber Innovation Center, robotics educator and author Kathy Ceceri, the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, the Museum of Science, Boston, and WGBH’s Design Squad Global. Girl Scouts themselves also rigorously tested some of the new offerings, including the Think Like a Programmer activities and the Space Science and Cybersecurity badges, which were announced last year and are now available for girls around the country to earn.

ABOUT GIRL SCOUTS OF OREGON AND SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON | GSOSW

Our council serves 13,955 girls in 38 counties with the help of over 10,000 volunteers. The Girl Scout mission is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. Every opportunity in Girl Scouting develops these essential skills in an all-girl, inclusive, safe environment. For more information, please visit girlscoutsosw.org.

GSOSW STEM PROGRAMMING

About GSOSW STEM program opportunities, http://www.girlscoutsosw.org/en/our-council/news/2018/to_the_moon_and_back.html http://www.girlscoutsosw.org/en/our-council/news/2018/april_is_stem_month_.html

About Girl Scouts of the USA
We're 2.6 million strong—1.8 million girls and 800,000 adults who believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to change the world. Our extraordinary journey began more than 100 years ago with the original G.I.R.L., Juliette Gordon “Daisy” Low. On March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Georgia, she organized the very first Girl Scout troop, and every year since, we’ve honored her vision and legacy, building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. We’re the preeminent leadership development organization for girls. And with programs from coast to coast and across the globe, Girl Scouts offers every girl a chance to practice a lifetime of leadership, adventure, and success. To volunteer, reconnect, donate, or join, visit www.girlscouts.org.

“Reaching for the Stars: NASA Science for Girl Scouts” is based upon work supported by NASA Science under cooperative agreement No. NNX16AB90A. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

About the GSUSA STEM Pledge, https://www.girlscouts.org/en/press-room/press-room/newsreleases/2017/girl-scouts-announces-STEM-pledge.html

About GSUSA STEM Programming, https://www.girlscouts.org/en/about-girl-scouts/girl-scouts-andstem.html

Girl Scouts of Oregon and SW Washington Astronomy Adventure
Girl Scouts of Oregon and SW Washington Astronomy Adventure
Girl Scouts Reach for the Stars, Envision STEM Future at Pine Mountain Observatory in Central Oregon (Public Viewing Friday Evening) (Photo) - 07/13/18

Girl Scouts Reach for the Stars, Envision STEM Future at Pine Mountain Observatory in Central Oregon

Public Viewing TONIGHT, Friday, 7/13/18

Girls from around the nation (including girls from Oregon and Washington) to experience hands-on astronomy exploration, real-world skills thanks to NASA, the SETI Institute and the University of Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. – July 13, 2018 – Girl Scouts from throughout the United States have stellar STEM opportunities this summer, thanks to the "Reaching for the Stars: NASA Science for Girl Scouts," SETI Institute’s cooperative agreement with NASA.

“Girls will have a chance to make friends from throughout the country while sleeping out under the stars in a National Forest,” says Shannon Joseph, STEM Specialist for Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington. “The girls will learn to operate telescopes, engage in solar and dark sky observations, collect and analyze data and flex their leadership muscles. And, while they’re having a great time, they're also getting a chance to see a future for themselves in the STEM fields.”

“This is an exceptional opportunity to embrace the Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington and Pine Mountain Observatory into our scope of work,” says Pamela Harman, Acting Director of Education at the SETI Institute. “The local Girl Scout council will deliver an excellent camping experience, the Observatory will deliver dark skies and observing opportunities and the SETI Institute will lead the girls through activities they can take home to their local troops and councils.”

“Pine Mountain Observatory (PMO) and UO Physics are excited to support this new program! We especially look forward to having Girl Scouts visit the observatory for an extended stay,” says Scott Fisher, Director of PMO. “The four-day excursion will give the girls a chance to fully engage with PMO and the STEM experience. It is my hope that all of our visitors leave the summit with a new appreciation for the universe we inhabit, as well as a genuine positive experience with the environment, the observatory, and most importantly, science itself. I hope to see these Girl Scouts pursue studies in Physics or Astronomy in the near future.”

WHO

Ten (10) Girl Scouts from throughout the United States, including Girl Scouts from Oregon (Portland and Milwaukie) and Washington, will participate in an Astronomy Adventure.

The girls will join University of Oregon undergraduate women, the Observatory Director, and other professional instructors for solar observing by day, deep sky observing by night, and camping in the beautiful Deschutes National Forest of Central Oregon.

WHAT THE PARTICIPANTS WILL DO

  • Operate telescopes and engage in solar observation
  • Collect data, learn how to manipulate data into an image
  • Explore fun astronomy activities
  • Flex leadership muscles
  • Develop new astronomy expertise
  • Meet new friends from across the USA
  • Sleep out under the stars in a National Forest
  • Geocaching
  • Camp, build campfires (weather dependent) and develop outdoor skills

Photography by Justin Hartney http://www.justinhartney.com/

WHEN

Girls Scouts will participate in the Astronomy Adventure from July 10-14, 2018

Public Viewing Friday Evening (7/13/18)

The public is welcome for viewing on the evening of Friday, July 13, 2018. Programs commence at approximately 8:30 p.m., around sunset. Groups of 8 or more are requited to provide advance notification. For information, scheduling and questions, please contact:

Alton Lukem Operations Manager, Pine Mountain Observatory

541-382-8331 | aluken@uoregon.edu

GSOSW staff on-site at Pine Mountain Observatory:

Jen Akins,  Travel Pathway Program Specialist
541-499-1446, Mobile | jakins@girlscoutsosw.org

Shannon Joseph, STEM Program Specialist, sjoseph@girlscoutsosw.org

WHERE

Pine Mountain Observatory in the Deschutes National Forest of Central Oregon

Pine Mountain Observatory, in the Deschutes National Forest of Central Oregon, offers a unique opportunity to observe the skies from mountaintop telescopes and learn about astronomy.

For more information, please visit: https://pmo.uoregon.edu/.

Live camera at Pine Mountain Observatory:

http://128.223.164.214/view/view.shtml?id=83&imagepath=%2Fmjpg%2Fvideo.mjpg&size=1

WHY

Research shows women are still vastly under-represented in STEM fields and exposing girls to these subjects at a young age is vital to ignite their curiosity and close this gap. Girl Scouts, the SETI Institute and the University of Oregon support helping young women succeed in working in these impact fields.

HOW

The SETI Institute is leading a five-year program called “Reaching for the Stars: NASA Science for Girl Scouts,” which NASA’s Science Mission Directorate will fund through 2020.

To learn more, please visit: https://www.girlscouts.org/en/about-girl-scouts/our-partners/SETI-institute.html

“Girl Scouts, the SETI Institute and the University of Oregon share a passion for inspiring and empowering the next generation of female leaders through science, technology, engineering, and math programs,” says Karen Hill, Chief Executive Officer for Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington. “This exciting collaboration gives girls rare hands-on experiences that broaden their view of our world, our solar system, and most importantly of their own future potential in STEM and beyond.”

ABOUT THE GIRLS

Ten Girl Scouts – hailing from Arizona, Oklahoma, Oregon (Portland and Milwaukie), Maine, Massachusetts, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Washington – will participate in the program. While they come from different places and have a variety of interests, from speech and debate to mountain biking, film club to violin, the girls all share a strong interest in astronomy, engineering and physics. In their own words:

“When I was little, I wanted to be an astronaut so I could explore outer space and perhaps even travel to another planet. I’ve visited two observatories and each time I get to glimpse through the lens, I fall in love with our world a little bit more.”

“This trip will give me the chance to explore the topic of astronomy and to ask specific questions about studying science in college and what to expect as a woman in the STEM fields.”

“In the future, I’d like to be an engineer and work with satellites and robots/rovers of NASA to gather scientific data to learn more about the universe we live in. This program will allow me to learn more about operating telescopes, and exploring the many scientific and engineering endeavors astronomy has to offer.”

MAKING AN IMPACT: GIRL SCOUT ALUMNA SECURES NASA INTERNSHIP
Programming such as this Astronomy Adventure make an impact. Participation in a Girl Scout Destinations trip to Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama in summer 2017 inspired Rosemary Williams, Girl Scout alumna from GSOSW Troop 20022, to reach for her dreams and seek a future in space science. Rosemary has attained a paid 10-week internship with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) this summer, and she is currently a mechanical engineering major at Oregon State University.

"Going to work at NASA has been my dream for a very long time," says Rosemary Williams, engineering student at Oregon State University and Girl Scout alumna from Troop 20022 in Oregon. "When I found out I would be an intern at NASA Ames Research Center this summer I was absolutely over the moon. I am incredibly excited for this opportunity and I'm so ready to be surrounded by people who share my love for math and science and, most importantly, for space."

Rosemary Williams is available for media interviews by phone, or on-site at NASA in Florida. Interested media should contact communications@girlscoutsosw.org.

INTERESTED MEDIA

Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington’s

ABOUT GIRL SCOUTS OF OREGON AND SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON | GSOSW

Our council serves 13,955 girls in 38 counties with the help of over 10,000 volunteers. The Girl Scout mission is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. Every opportunity in Girl Scouting develops these essential skills in an all-girl, inclusive, safe environment. For more information, please visit girlscoutsosw.org.

OTHER GSOSW STEM PROGRAMMING

Girl Scout Astronomy Club Training At Goddard Space Flight Center—This week, teams from ten selected Girl Scout councils, including Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington, are taking part in an intensive weeklong space science training at NASA’s premier research facility in Greenbelt, Maryland. Teams are made up of two high school Girl Scouts (entering grades 9, 10 OR 11 in Fall 2018), one Girl Scout volunteer, and one amateur astronomer. Participants will learn how to start their own astronomy club back home and have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to connect directly with NASA scientists.

To learn more about other GSOSW STEM program opportunities, please visit:

http://www.girlscoutsosw.org/en/our-council/news/2018/to_the_moon_and_back.html

http://www.girlscoutsosw.org/en/our-council/news/2018/april_is_stem_month_.html

ABOUT GIRL SCOUTS OF THE U.S.A. (GSUSA)

The Girl Scout mission is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. The impact of Girl Scouts in the United States is reflected in the fact that 90 percent of female astronauts, 80 percent of female technology leaders and 75 percent of female senators are Girl Scout alumnae. To learn more about Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., visit girlscouts.org.

About the GSUSA STEM Pledge, https://www.girlscouts.org/en/press-room/press-room/news-releases/2017/girl-scouts-announces-STEM-pledge.html

About GSUSA STEM Programming, https://www.girlscouts.org/en/about-girl-scouts/girl-scouts-and-stem.html

ABOUT THE SETI INSTITUTE

Founded in 1984, the SETI Institute is a non-profit, multi-disciplinary research and education organization whose mission is to explore, understand, and explain the origin and nature of life in the universe. Our research encompasses the physical and biological sciences and leverages expertise in data analytics, machine learning and advanced signal detection technologies. The Institute is a distinguished research partner for industry, academia and government agencies, including NASA and NSF. To connect with the SETI Institute, visit www.seti.org.

ABOUT NASA

NASA leads the nation on a great journey of discovery, seeking new knowledge and understanding of our Sun, Earth, solar system, and the universe. The NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) searches for answers across three overarching themes: Safeguarding and improving life on Earth, searching for life elsewhere, and discovering the secrets of the Universe. SMD’s STEM Science Activation program advances STEM to improve U.S. scientific literacy through the leveraging of partners such as Girl Scouts of the USA and the SETI Institute. 

“Reaching for the Stars: NASA Science for Girl Scouts” is based upon work supported by NASA Science under cooperative agreement No. NNX16AB90A. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.