Friday, September 5, 2014

Hampton Girl Scouts Meet with Senator Tim Kaine

Last month, seven Girl Scouts from Hampton had the opportunity to meet with Senator Tim Kaine while he was in Norfolk for a senatorial forum. The Girl Scouts organized this meeting in order to inform Senator Kaine about the organization’s commitment to providing educational opportunities for girls to explore and discover in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.

GSCCC CEO Tracy Keller presented Senator Kaine with the
Council's STEM patch.
During their meeting, the Girl Scouts presented Senator Kaine with the Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast STEM patch, which was created in honor of Dr. Sandra DeLoatch, when she was served as the dean of the College of Science, Engineering and Technology at Norfolk State University. The patch is just one of the ways that Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast creates oopportunities for girls to explore their interests in STEM.

Senator Kaine then sat down with the girls to hear about how being a part of Girl Scouts has not only given them opportunities to participate in STEM activities, but to do so in a supportive and encouraging environment.

“At school, I really became interested in science and engineering, and I've had even more opportunities to learn about science through Girl Scouts,” Girl Scout Senior Ashleigh told Senator Kaine. “Last year got to go to Science Alive with Girl Scouts at Norfolk State University, and my favorite part of the day was making ice cream with liquid nitrogen.”

Members of Girl Scout Troops 1289 and 1361 from Hampton
with Senator Kaine and GSCC CEO Tracy Keller.
After hearing from each of the girls, Senator Kaine shared his support of STEM education and talked about his belief in the value of career and technical education, as well as the importance of higher education being affordable. He also shared his recognition of the challenges that women face in joining the workforce, and he talked to each girl about her future aspirations. The girls, whose interests range from becoming an architect to a geneticist, each shared what interests them most.

The Girl Scout Research Institute has found that girls are overwhelmingly interested in STEM, but, despite women making great strides in education over the last 50 years, they continue to be underrepresented in the STEM fields. Girls need more exposure and better education about what STEM careers are and what they can offer. As the premier leadership organization for girls, Girl Scouts given a variety of ways to participate in hands-on STEM learning all year long.

This fall, Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast has numerous STEM events planned for girls, including Society of Women Engineers Day on November 1 at Old Dominion University and Think Like a Scientist on December 6 at the Virginia Living Museum. All Girl Scout events are open to all girls, whether or not they are currently registered members of the organization.