Girl Scouts of the USA

The Girl Scout STEM Pledge: 2.5 Million Girls by 2025

Lead Organization

Girl Scouts of the USA

New York, New York, United States

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To learn more about – or provide significant funding to – this project, please contact Lever for Change.

Project Summary

Over the next decade, the U.S. will need 1M more STEM professionals than we are on track to produce. A significant gender gap amplifies the problem.The critical drivers for closing the STEM gender gap are:•giving girls greater exposure to a variety of quality STEM experiences over time; •connecting girls to a network of caring adults; •helping girls develop leadership and social-emotional skills helping girls understand STEM's value to people and society.We’ll roll out our model nationally by:•identifying girls least likely to receive STEM support and conducting targeted outreach; •building capacity at councils (STEM Strategists and support for their training)•creating national training resources for troop leaders;• engaging STEM professionals as mentors•measuring STEM program outcomes •conducting an implementation and longitudinal study•sharing promising practices across the Girl Scout Movement and broader field.

Problem Statement

There is a STEM gender gap crisis in the United States. Women and girls are underrepresented across all levels of the STEM pipeline but there are huge opportunities. The average projected growth for all STEM occupations between 2014 and 2024 is 6.5%; mathematical and science occupations have projected growth of 28.2% Currently, women make more than 47% of our workforce but comprise less than 29% of STEM jobs. As early as second grade, youth demonstrated the stereotype that “math is for boys, not girls.”By third grade, girls form their STEM identity. By high school, only 11% of girls declare an interest in STEM.To close the gender gap girls need to: explore a range of STEM interests K-12 Understand how STEM helps people & society, connect with role models and caring adults, Have access to resources and support. Girls Scouts can support girls during those critical years when they develop interest and confidence in STEM. As they get older, they are at risk of opting out of STEM when they transition to middle school and then to high school. Girl Scouts offers older girls more challenging program, the opportunity to meet women role models and mentors, and the support of an all-girl environment to keep them engaged until they are ready for college and career.

Solution Overview

To close the STEM gender gap, girls need to explore a range of STEM interests, understand how STEM helps people and society, connect with role models and caring adults, and access resources and support. Our STEM programming is designed to supplement girls’ academic work, give them more confidence in a deeper understanding of STEM concepts. Here’s how the Girl Scout STEM Pledge delivers:•STEM Strategists: A senior leadership role at the council-level, STEM Strategists will implement a robust STEM strategy that that includes active engagement with the local STEM ecosystem—schools, libraries, museums, community colleges, universities, and corporations. •Girl Scout STEM Centers of Excellence (SCOE): Flagship properties offer innovative STEM experiences, modern STEM equipment and technology, and dedicated council staff. SCOE councils develop ongoing strategic partnerships with members of the local STEM ecosystem. •STEM Experience Centers (SXC): Hyper-local STEM-dedicated spaces with flexible site models that meet the needs of councils and their communities, such as reserved spaces at local libraries or access to chemistry labs or maker spaces. •Mobile STEM Centers (MSCs): A mobile fleet that extends Girl Scout STEM Pledge programming to girls in underserved and diverse communities and provide a safe, friendly environment for volunteer training. MSCs help councils overcome the STEM geographic opportunity gap and reach more girls. •Volunteer training: Specialized curricula and digital tools that give Girl Scout troop leaders the confidence and knowledge to lead STEM activities is a critical component to STEM program success as well as a digital system,

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Project Funders

  • Lyda Hill Philanthropies

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