24 new badges prepare Girl Scouts to be ambitious, decisive leaders
Girl Scouts of Virginia Skyline Council and Girl Scouts of the USA are rolling out 24 new badges designed to help girls practice ambitious leadership in the crucial areas of automotive engineering, STEM career exploration, entrepreneurship, and civics, many of which remain male-dominated.
In a year of unprecedented global change, our country’s need for strong, broad-minded, and decisive leadership has never been greater. Through new and existing programming, Girl Scouts equips the next generation of female change-makers with the breadth of knowledge, skills, and experiences they need to take charge and do good for the world, both now and in the future.
The new Girl Scout badges include:
Entrepreneurship (grades K–12)
(Badges: Toy Business Developer, Budding Entrepreneur, Business Jumpstart, Business Creator, Business Startup, and Entrepreneur Accelerator)
Girls develop an entrepreneurial mindset as they engage in age-appropriate exercises that help them create and pitch a product or service that solves a problem. They build their own business plan and think about topics like production, cost, profit, marketing, and competition. Three in four of today’s girls are interested in becoming an entrepreneur, but more than half also say they need more support in this area; these badges are designed to fill the gap.
STEM Career Exploration (grades 2–8)
(Badges: STEM Career Exploration for Brownies, STEM Career Exploration for Juniors, etc.)
Girls explore their career interests and connect them to STEM fields—particularly computer science, nature/environmental science, engineering, design, health, and agriculture—that can help them address the pressing issues of our time and change the world. The IF/THEN® Collection, a free, downloadable digital asset library of real-life women in STEM, is an integral component of the badges. The dearth of women in STEM fields is well documented, but data shows that girls are more interested in a STEM career when they learn how they can use it to help people, demonstrating the value of Girl Scouts’ unique approach.
Automotive Engineering (grades K–5)
(Badges: Automotive Design, Automotive Engineering, and Automotive Manufacturing)
Girls learn about designing, engineering, and manufacturing vehicles, as well as the future of mobility. They design their own vehicles, test prototypes, learn about design thinking, create their own assembly line manufacturing process, and more. Only 13% of engineers are women, underscoring the need for these badges that will introduce more girls to the field.
Civics (grades K–12)
(Badges: Democracy for Daisies, Democracy for Brownies, etc.)
Girls gain an in-depth understanding of how local, state, and federal government works, preparing them to be voters, activists, and even political leaders. They research laws and how they are created, voting, and the Electoral College, the representation of women in government, and more. They also research their own government officials and are encouraged to meet them. Just 24% of eighth-graders are proficient in civics, and only two in five American adults can name the three branches of the U.S. government, highlighting the need for these badges.
“More than ever, girls need more opportunities to practice ambitious leadership,” explained Girl Scouts of Virginia Skyline CEO Nikki Williams. “From topics like automotive engineering and STEM careers to civics and entrepreneurship, these new badges prioritize preparing the next generation of girls to face the challenges of the future!”
To help local Girl Scouts as well as all girls and their families find free and fun things to do while stuck at home during this pandemic, Girl Scouts of Virginia Skyline has made free self-guided activities with hours of badges, patches and story time available digitally online through our Girl Scouting at Home webpage. Girls can further engage with the badges and topics through online videos, activities, or special live virtual events.
In addition, this summer girls in grades K-12 can take a test-drive of Girl Scouting for free through our Virtual Subscription Boxes. And pre-K girls and their families can get ready for Kindergarten with our Make New Friends virtual program series.
For more information about Girl Scouting: www.gsvsc.org/join