Girl Scouts are Engineering a Bright Future in STEM
At Girl Scouts, we know that when girls can see it, they have a much better chance of one day being it—which is why we prioritize introducing girls to a variety of different and exciting career possibilities. Recently, we teamed up with the Society of Women Engineers to give girls hands-on engineering experience with help from women who are making waves in the traditionally male-dominated engineering world.
While working on their Think Like an Engineer Journey badges, girls from Girl Scouts of Central Texas had the opportunity to try new things, problem solve, and learn about simple physics in a fun, interactive environment. Sarah Kuchel, a human interface engineering intern at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, was among the inspiring women present to encourage the girls, answer their questions, and help them think through innovative solutions to engineering challenges. She gave the Think Like an Engineer Journey badges rave reviews and said they “start young women thinking about being an engineer and breaking that boundary between ‘Oh, that’s a man’s job,’ or…whatever that is, to get them thinking ‘I can be an engineer, this is something I want to do.’” And the girls agreed—Ana, a Girl Scout Senior, felt empowered by the support of female STEM professionals. “Especially for the little girls,” she said, “they can look up to them and see it being a realistic option.”
Dr. Laura Terrell, STEM program manager for Girl Scouts of Central Texas, emphasized that the day’s events didn’t simply show girls what’s out there in terms of professional possibilities but also helped them develop the real skills they’ll need to go far on STEM pathways. “We’re really introducing girls to design thinking and the different processes that engineers go through when they’re building and creating new things,” she said. “It’s really important for girls to gain the confidence with these kinds of skills and to understand that engineering is something they can do and that they should do—and that’s actually fun to do!”