Girl Scouts Heart of Central California held their annual STEM Expo on Nov. 6, 2022 at Camp Pollock in Sacramento with 142 participants in attendance.
The event featured a variety of hands-on activities designed to foster curiosity and confidence in participants with an eye toward the future in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.
Highlights from the array of experiences provided include:
• Solar bracelet making: Provided by event partner SMUD, this creative project centered on understanding energy. (The beads used could change depending on light.)
• Ecology and botany learning: Highlighting the Girl Scouts and UC Davis Arboretum’s Public Garden Program, living plants were used in captivating games designed to teach plant identification while having fun.
• Robot programming and play: Provided by event partner Code Ninjas, this hands-on experience encouraged problem-solving and analysis skills essential to tomorrow’s thinkers.
• Paper rockets and DNA bracelet making: Provided by event partner Americorps Fellows and the Girl Scouts Heart of Central California’s Mobile STEM Center, these tactile projects kept participants actively engaged while learning.
One highlight of the day was feedback received from a newly-established local Daisy Troop. Having formed just one week prior, the STEM Expo was the troop’s first Girl Scouts event. They arrived early and were some of the last to leave. Their enthusiastic troop leader made connections for future activities inspired by both the event itself and by other leaders in attendance. The troop is especially interested in working more with Code Ninjas.
Over the last 30 years, employment in STEM occupations has grown 79 percent with the promise of continued growth in the fields. Women comprise only 34 percent of the STEM workforce and have lower median salaries than their male counterparts.
The future for women in STEM is far brighter, however, thanks to events like this that inspire tomorrow’s thinkers and leaders. STEM is a foundational part of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, the four-pillar framework around which all its activities are built. Along with the other pillars (outdoors, life skills, and entrepreneurship) Girl Scouts is committed to providing opportunities for growth through STEM-focused learning.