Thursday, March 19, 2015

GSCCC Girl Scout Heading to the White House

Girl Scouts will be in full force at the White House on March 23, when President Obama will welcome young scientists and engineers from across the country to showcase their inventions and discoveries at the 2015 White House Science Fair.

This year, Girl Scouts are represented by Lauren, a Girl Scout Gold Award recipient from Newport News, whose project aims to reverse the small percentage of minorities and females participating in the fields of aviation and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). Lauren will be joined at the White House Science Fair by a Girl Scout Daisy Troop from Girl Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma who invented a battery-powered page turner for people with arthritis, people who are paralyzed, or “people who have no arms.”

Hosted by President Obama, the fair will feature innovative projects, designs and experiments from students all across America from a broad range of STEM competitions. This year’s fair will also include a specific focus on girls and women who are excelling in STEM and inspiring the next generation with their work.

Lauren, who attends the Denbigh High School Aviation Academy, began her Girl Scout Gold Award project after discovering the small percentage of minorities and females partaking in the fields of aviation and STEM. Prox worked with local scouting troops and youth-serving organizations, developed aviation-themed scavenger hunts that aligned with scouting requirements for patches and made aerospace-centered lesson plans for scouting leaders to use in the future. For older audiences, she gave presentations regarding her STEM experiences, from flying a plane to interning at NASA.

According to the Girl Scout Research Institute study Generation STEM: What Girls Say About Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, 82 percent of girls see themselves as “smart enough to have a career in STEM." However, only 13 percent of girls say that a STEM career is their first choice. Girls are aware that gender barriers persist in today's society. Researchers found that 57 percent of girls studied agree that if they were to pursue a STEM career, they would “have to work harder than a man to be taken seriously.”

View the White House Science Fair live on Monday, March 23 starting at 11:55 a.m. here.