Girl Scouts announce 24 new badges to encourage girls to explore fields with few women | Livingston/Tangipahoa

Girl Scouts Louisiana East and Girl Scouts of the USA on July 21 announced 24 new badges designed to help girls practice ambitious leadership in the crucial areas of automotive engineering, STEM career exploration, entrepreneurship and civics, many of which remain male-dominated, a news release said.

The new Girl Scout badges include:

Entrepreneurship (grades K-12): Girls engage in age-appropriate exercises that help them create and pitch a product or service that solves a problem. They build their own business plan and think about topics like production, cost, profit, marketing and competition. Funded by Susan Bulkeley Butler and designed in collaboration with VentureLab.

STEM Career Exploration (grades 2-8): Girls explore STEM fields — particularly computer science, nature/environmental science, engineering, design, health and agriculture — that can help them address the pressing issues. The IF/THEN Collection, a free, downloadable digital asset library of real-life women in STEM, is an integral component of the badges. Funded by IF/THEN, an initiative of Lyda Hill Philanthropies.

Automotive Engineering (grades K-5): Girls learn about designing, engineering and manufacturing vehicles, as well as the future of mobility. They design their own vehicles, test prototypes, learn about design thinking, create their own assembly line manufacturing process and more. Funded by General Motors.

Civics (grades K-12): Girls gain an in-depth understanding of how local, state and federal government works, preparing them to be voters, activists and political leaders. They research laws and how they’re created, voting, the electoral college, the representation of women in government and more. They also research their own government officials and are encouraged to meet them. Funded by the Citi Foundation.

Girl Scouts has made free self-guided activities from select new and existing programming available digitally to the public through Girl Scouts at Home, keeping families engaged and connected to their communities. Girls can further engage with the badges and topics through online videos, activities or special live virtual events. Members can access a suite of Girl Scouts’ programming digitally through the Volunteer Toolkit, including troop meeting plans and other resources to help girls earn badges and awards, the release said.

Beginning this summer, all councils will have the opportunity to host their own Girl Scout Cyber Challenge sponsored by Raytheon Technologies, enabling middle and high school girls to learn cybersecurity skills as they compete in challenges such as running traceroutes and identifying phishing schemes. 

To join or volunteer, visit www.girlscouts.org/join.