Monday, March 23, 2015

White House Science Fair

Over the past few decades, women in the United States have made great strides in education and entry into the workforce. However, they remain underrepresented in the science and engineering fields. The age-old perception that girls are not high achievers in math and science persists, despite findings by the American Association of University Women that show high school girls and boys perform equally well in math and science. High school girls even earn more math and science credits than boys, but according to a study by the Girl Scout Research Institute, only 13 percent of girls say a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) career is their first choice.

Organizations, such as Girl Scouts, are committed to helping to fill the gap between STEM interest and career choice for girls. This is especially important in the quest for gender equality because the Department of Commerce found that women in STEM jobs earn 33 percent more than those in non-STEM occupations. They also found that the wage gap between men and women in STEM jobs is smaller than in other fields.

Lauren was one of  nine guests invited to take part in a
roundtable discussion in the Vice President's Ceremonial
Office during the White House Science Fair.
Today, Girl Scout Ambassador Lauren from Newport News was an honored guest at the White House Science Fair. Hosted by President Obama, the fair showcased a broad range of inventions and discoveries by young scientists and engineers from across the country. It also included a specific focus on girls and women who are excelling in STEM and inspiring the next generation with their work. Lauren has a similar mission, and through her Girl Scout Gold Award project, she shared her own passion for STEM in an effort to engage more girls, women and minorities in STEM.

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast offers unique opportunities for girls of all ages to explore and discover in the STEM fields. It’s an important way for us to give girls the chance to find what they’re interested in and interact with role models in the STEM fields. Here are some upcoming ways that you engage your girl in STEM with GSCCC:
Fun, Sun and Wind- Head to the Outer Banks with your Girl Scout on April 25 for a day of science and exploration at Jeanette’s Pier in North Carolina. There will be tons of activities for girls with all sorts of interests— learning about the animals who call the intertidal zone home, discovering how to harness energy from the wind and so much more! Register for this event by April 10 here.

Financing Your Dreams- Show your Girl Scout that it’s cool to be good at math! The Tidewater Chapter of the Virginia Society of CPAs will be hosting a financial literacy workshop for Girl Scout Daisies and Brownies on April 26 to teach them all about money matters. They’ll learn about needs versus wants, ways they can save money, how to make a budget and so much more! Register for this event by April 10 here.

STEM Day on the Tracks- On May 9, your Girl Scout can enjoy a day of fun and STEM-learning at Motor World in Virginia Beach! There will be special activities just for Girl Scouts to teach them about what makes amusement park rides go around, how go-kart engines work and more! Register for this event by April 21 here.
Science Alive- On September 26, Norfolk State University will be hosting the 5th annual Science Alive event for Girl Scouts. During this fun-filled day, Norfolk State University staff and students will lead hands-on STEM activities for girls in areas including engineering, chemistry, medicine, biology and physical science. Register for this event by September 13 here.

Read more about girls’ perceptions, attitudes and interests in the STEM fields in Generation STEM: What Girls Say about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, a report by the Girl Scout Research Institute.