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STEM

STEM

Across America, there is a growing gap between males and females in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Girls Scouts of New Mexico Trails is dedicated to helping close that gap through providing quality opportunities for hands-on exploration in science to girls of all ages. Our STEM initiative is designed to encourage girls to investigate science ideas and topics, while connecting them with professionals in the field. By delivering programming with engaging and fun STEM activities, we hope to provide girls with a unique experience that will fuel their passion for learning and set them on a path to a career in science.

Imagine your girl taking on some of the biggest challenges and problems our planet faces—and helping solve them. Imagine her having a career that’s engaging and well paid. Imagine her teaming up with others to invent the future. Let your girl see that STEM can help her make the world a better place!

Girl Scouts who participate in girl-focused STEM programs:

  • Become better problem-solvers, critical thinkers, and inspirational leaders
  • Get better grades, earn scholarships, and follow more lucrative career paths
  • See STEM as the foundation for a meaningful and successful future

Perhaps she’d like to build a robot, create an app, invent a medical device, develop a video game, design a car, protect the world’s wildlife, send a spacecraft into outer space, cure a disease, keep the ocean clean, or study the stars. She can accomplish any of these and so much more! 

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Girl Scouts' approach to STEM is unique because:

  • STEM experiences are framed within the context of leadership: As girls participate in Girl Scouting, they develop leadership skills to make the world a better place. Research shows girls are more interested in STEM careers when they know how their work can help others.
  • The Girl Scout Leadership Experience engages girls through the three Girl Scout processes of: girl-led, learning by doing, and cooperative learning.
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Here's how these processes provide quality STEM experiences for girls:

  • Girl-led: Even when a girl has an interest in STEM, she might find that boys take the lead in a school environment due to unspoken assumptions about gender roles. Girl Scouts offers a safe, supportive place for girls to seek challenges. The girl-led process encourages girls to decide which topics they want to explore and how they want to go about it.
  • Learning by doing: Research shows that, particularly with STEM, youth need to be hands-on, active learners. The learning-by-doing process encourages this approach. In addition, Girl Scouts' learning-by-doing process involves a reflection step that asks girls to think about how a given activity worked and what they would do differently in the future—a key skill in scientific testing and conducting experiments.
  • Cooperative learning: In general, girls prefer a collaborative leadership style, rather than the traditional, top-down, "command and control" approach. The cooperative learning process gives girls the opportunity to develop leadership and STEM skills in a way that might feel most comfortable.

"I think some girls don’t like science because they don’t think  it’s something girls should do. They think science is a boy subject. But, I’m a girl and I love science and seeing how things work."

                                                                        - Sarah, 8 year old Girl Scout

Check out some our STEM Programs

G.I.R.L. Extravaganza – An annual overnight experience the girls can share with their families. During the day participants get to explore our STEM fair where experts share hands-on activities in everything from chemistry, biology, and physics to 3D printing, coding, and robotics via demonstration booths. During the evening families get to learn about astronomy and participate in traditional Girl Scouts activities like making SWAPS, sing-alongs, and S’mores.

STEM Saturdays – A smaller version of G.I.R.L. Extravaganza for individual regions or troops held for a half day on Saturdays.

Innovate and Create – A week long summer camp that bridges art, design, engineering, and technology. Girls learn about electricity, simple circuits, 3-D printing, animation, video game design, computer programming, and electronic textiles. This camp serves as the perfect environment to experiment and learn through making.

PNM Venture Days: Dare to Explore – A series program where girls can explore our new STEM badges. These workshops are for girls who are interested in earning their STEM badges through experimentation, while taking field trips and meeting real women scientists. This series is generously funded by PNM.

My 3 Sisters: Part 2 STEM – A series program focused on bringing more STEM to Native American girls in New Mexico through maker activities. These activities include engineering and design concepts through combining low-tech and high-tech making activities. This series is generously funded by Verizon. 

STEM Journeys

Engineering: Think Like an Engineer - Girls discover how to think like an engineer by participating in hands-on design challenges and completing a Take Action project.

Computer Science: Think Like a Programmer - Girls learn how programmers solve problems as they (girls) participate in interactive computational-thinking activities and complete a Take Action project.

Outdoor STEM: Think Like a Citizen Scientist - Girls practice the scientific method by undertaking a citizen science project. They make observations, collect data, and work with scientists who provide feedback on research and findings. Girls also complete a Take Action project.