New STEM and Outdoor Journeys and Badges
Extra, extra, read all about the new Journeys and badges for Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors rolling out across our nation this fall. And your troop can join in the fun!
What are they?
Anchored by the Troop Camping badge, our new Outdoor Journey will strengthen girls’ outdoor skills and ignite their interest in environmental stewardship. Girls will also complete a Take Action project.
Engineering: Think Like an Engineer. Girls discover how to think like an engineer by participating in hands-on design challenges and completing a Take Action project.
Computer Science: Think Like a Programmer. Girls learn how programmers solve problems as they (girls) participate in interactive computational-thinking activities and complete a Take Action project.
Outdoor STEM: Think Like a Citizen Scientist. Girls practice the scientific method by undertaking a citizen science project. They make observations, collect data, and work with scientists who provide feedback on research and findings. Girls also complete a Take Action project.
Engineering | Robotics: Girls design their own robots after learning how they’re built and programmed. “Unplugged” activities allow girls to earn badges without buying kits.
Engineering | Mechanical Engineering: Girls complete hands-on engineering activities, such as building and testing roller coasters, race cars, and gliders.
Girls’ Choice | Troop Camping: Get ready for fun, adventure, and challenge in the great outdoors with the winning Girls’ Choice badge for 2017.
Daisy Badges: Two new Daisy badges, Outdoor Art Maker and Good Neighbor, give Daisies a chance to get in on the creativity and discover all about their school, city or town, and state!
These new Journeys and badges not only make timely additions and enhancements to our existing girl programming but also create a more robust experience, including Take Action projects, for subject areas that are most compelling to today’s girls — science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and outdoor activities.
Combined with existing STEM and outdoor programs, as well as programming in life skills and entrepreneurship, these new Journeys and badges are designed to help girls unleash their inner G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ as they achieve the five outcomes of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience: sense of self, positive values, challenge seeking, healthy relationships, and community problem solving.
Who created the STEM content?
this section by Sydney Boeddeker
Girl Scouts reached out to the experts in STEM to bring quality content to girls with the new STEM Journeys and badges. Below you will find information on these new Girl Scout partners.
Think Like a Programmer
Code.org is a non-profit dedicated to expanding access to computer science and increasing participation by women and underrepresented minorities. Their vision is that every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science, just like biology, chemistry or algebra.
To support their goal, they do work across the education spectrum: designing their own courses or partnering with others, training teachers, partnering with large school districts, helping change government policies, expanding internationally via partnerships, and marketing to break stereotypes.
Here is the link to watch Hadi Partovi give a TED Talk about the importance of computer science and the impact it can have on children.
Think Like a Citizen Scientist
SciStarter is the place to find, join, and contribute to science through more than 1,600 formal and informal research projects, events and tools. Their database of citizen science projects enables discovery, organization, and greater participation in science.
This is also the place to track your contributions, bookmark things you like, and access the tools and instruments needed to get started. There’s also a specific homepage troops can use as they work their way through badges and journeys.
Think Like an Engineer
Design Squad is a PBS Kids website and television show that empowers middle school kids to solve real-world problems and understand the impact of engineering in a global context.
Refreshed weekly with challenges, videos, and activities, the website is one of the only places on the web where kids can share their engineering ideas with other kids. At Design Squad Global’s online hub, kids can share their engineering ideas and sketches with other kids, play games (like the flood prevention simulation “Don’t Flood the Fidgits!”), and take on global challenges (inventing a way to use less water).
Fun videos feature kid engineers and hosts / role models Deysi Melgar (future aerospace engineer and professional salsa dancer) and Nate Ball (engineer, pole vaulter, and beat boxer), who draw on their experiences to dispel stereotypes about engineering and inspire kids to explore engineering.
Mechanical Engineering Badges for Daisy and Brownie (Making Things Move and Making Things Zoom)
GoldieBlox is the award-winning children’s multimedia company disrupting the pink aisle in toy stores globally and challenging gender stereotypes with the world’s first girl engineer character.
Through the integration of storytelling and STEM principles, GoldieBlox creates toys, books, apps, videos, animation and merchandise; the tools that empower girls to build their confidence, dreams and ultimately, their futures.
We encourage you to check out the TED Talk all about how the founder of GoldieBlox, Debbie Sterling, came up with the idea, and how she was able to overcome the gender stereotypes she faced as a woman in engineering.
Where do I find the requirements?
You can access the requirements for these new Journeys and badges on the Volunteer Toolkit, which is a digital resource under the MyGS tab on our website. This awesome digital resource gives our volunteers access to year planning tools, troop information, and other Girl Scout resources no matter where they are.
If you haven’t created your profile and logged into this resource, you really should check it out!
Why Daisy, Brownie, and Junior?
There are several reasons that when designing new resources, GSUSA began with our youngest members. The bulk of our membership across the nation can be found in these grades, so creating resources for them first (with older girl Journeys and badges following at a later date) allows our organization to make an impact on our largest pool of girls. But that’s not the only reason to start with them, especially when it comes to STEM!
Many recent studies have found that girls begin to lose interest in STEM at an early age (Generation STEM found that girls lose interest in math and science during middle school, and STEM interest for girls is low, compared to boys) and that engaging girls in fun, hands-on activities focused around their interests can help boost their interest in these key subjects and those effects continue through those middle school years. Basically, if you build their confidence and enjoyment of STEM activities and skills when they’re young, they’re more likely to retain that enthusiasm when they hit those middle school years.
So what do you think of these new Journeys and badges? Are you excited to explore new topics and skills with your girls? We sure are! Head over to the Volunteer Toolkit to check them out today!