Time needed: 45–60 minutes
When you envision your adult self, what kind of life are you leading? Are you taking on challenges like helping reduce a company’s environmental impact? Are you creating digital plans or 3D-printed prototypes of new products? Will you be collecting data to improve network security and data protection? Maybe you’ll design digital campaigns or apps to spread information and connect people with common interests or goals.
A career is not just a job—it allows you to grow personally and professionally, help others, and make an impact in your field. Ultimately, your career gives you the tools you need to change your world–and those tools are STEM!
Explore careers in STEM by learning about six different STEM fields and completing a challenge for each field.
Field 1: Computer Science
The field of computer science focuses on the study of computers, the Internet, and how they’re used. There are programmers, whose job is to write code that can build websites, animate movies, design apps, program video games, and so much more. There are also cybersecurity professionals whose job is to keep computer networks, systems, and information safe.
Here are some ways you can make a difference with a career in computer science:
To explore what it’s like to have a career in computer science, take on the role of a cybersecurity analyst. Imagine you’re at a coffee shop, park, or other public area and check for available Wi-Fi networks on a phone or other device. Which network do you choose? Which is most secure: PublicWiFi, InternetGuest, or Members_SignIn? What types of apps are safe to use on a public network: email, news and events, search engines, GPS maps, social media, video streaming, school accounts? How can you keep online data safe when you’re on the go?
Field 2: Creative Technology & Design
The field of creative technology and design combines art, design, and computer science to create things that are both useful and fun, from apps to sound effects. For example, people working in the field might build clothing that lights up or that responds when the weather is hot or cold. They might design buildings or new products, from sneakers to lighting systems, using computer software. They might even build their ideas with technology like a 3D printer.
Here are some ways you can make a difference with a career in creative technology and design:
To explore what it’s like to have a career in creative technology and design, imagine you’re a creative designer. What product would you design? For the challenge, design a new or improved feature for a car or truck that makes the vehicle safer. Sketch your idea in an app or on paper and add a description. What technology is involved in building it? What materials is it made of? How is it tested for safety?
Field 3: Engineering
The field of engineering focuses on building things like bridges, cars, and other products. Engineers look for ways to improve and create new products that make life easier and more efficient. Engineers may work in many different areas, with careers designing things like prosthetics for the medical field, agricultural systems to grow more food, or clean energy systems that aren’t harmful to the environment.
Here are some ways you can make a difference with a career in engineering:
To explore what it’s like to have a career in engineering, reinvent a task or find a problem to solve. Choose an activity, like playing a sport or instrument, using technology, or carrying a heavy backpack. Brainstorm a machine to help make the task easier or minimize any negative health impact it may have. Sketch your idea or build a prototype if you have the materials. Share your design with someone else for feedback. How can your model be improved? How can you use it to improve our world?
Field 4: Food & Agriculture
The field of food and agriculture focuses on growing, cooking, and consuming food. While you may think of a chef, baker, or farmer, there are tons of careers that help to feed the world!
Here are some ways you can make a difference with a career in food and agriculture:
To explore what it’s like to have a career in food and agriculture, become a food scientist and experience food in a whole new way! What new flavor combinations would you create? Pair up with a friend who can combine a few ingredients for you to try. Taste a sample blindfolded while also holding your nose. Describe the flavors. Are there hints of sweet, sour, bitter, or savory? Can you figure out what the combination is? Now, try it again, but smell it before tasting. How does the flavor compare? How has the experience changed?
Field 5: Health & Wellness
The field of health and wellness focuses on helping people. Medical professionals specialize in all different things, like treating patients (children, adults, or the elderly); studying a disease, such as cancer or diabetes; or becoming an expert on a part of the body, like the heart (cardiology) or brain (neurology).
Here are some ways you can make a difference with a career in health and wellness:
To explore what it’s like to have a career in health and wellness, put yourself in the mindset of a first responder. How would you prepare for emergencies? Design a first aid/emergency kit for yourself. List all the materials you will need in the event of each emergency:
Field 6: Nature & the Environment
The field of nature and the environment focuses on science, nature, space, and the outdoors. People in this field might look at rocks and fossils, study plants or animals, go to space, or explore the ocean. There are also people whose job it is to take care of all different types of animals.
Here are some ways you can make a difference with a career in nature and the environment:
To explore what it’s like to have a career in nature and the environment, take on the role of a population ecologist. Healthy ecosystems can be measured by tree height, and larger trees also remove and store more CO2 from the atmosphere, slowing climate change. For this challenge, participate in the Girl Scout Tree Promise. Plant a tree or become a citizen scientist.
And that’s it! You’ve explored STEM and how it can make a difference. Even more, you learned about different careers and completed challenges related to six different fields of STEM.
If you had fun doing this activity, you might want to continue exploring your interests and how you can make the world a better place with the Ambassador STEM Career Exploration badge.
If you want to continue learning more about STEM, search for STEM Journeys and Badges for Daisies on the Girl Scout Award and Badge Explorer.
Troop Leaders: The instructions for all badge steps are available free of charge in the Girl Scout Volunteer Toolkit. If you want to learn more about STEM careers, check out profiles and videos from IF/THEN Collection.
Girl Scout Activity Zone activities have been adapted from existing Girl Scout programming.
Adapted from Steps 2 and 3 of the Ambassador STEM Career Exploration badge. Contact your troop leader or your local Girl Shop council to become a Girl Scout member and learn all the requirements needed to earn the badge.
The Ambassador STEM Career Exploration Badge is made possible by General Motors .