Orlando Science Center creates STEM opportunities for local Girl Scouts
Innovation is a collaborative process. The best ideas, inventions, discoveries are not created by a single person, but rather by a group of people with diverse thoughts, backgrounds, and experiences. This is one of the many reasons that diverse representation in the STEM workforce is crucial to us all. Although there have been strides of progress over the years, women are still vastly underrepresented in most STEM careers.
At Orlando Science Center, we strive to create prosperity in our community that enhances lives. Working towards gender equity is a crucial step in achieving this goal, including exciting new initiatives like our new STEM Explorers program, which will provide engaging STEM opportunities for Girl Scouts!
Statistics from the U.S. Department of Commerce: Women in STEM: A Gender Gap to Innovation say that:
- Although women fill close to half of all jobs in the U.S. economy, they hold less than 25 percent of STEM jobs.
- Women with STEM jobs earned 33 percent more than comparable women in non-STEM jobs – considerably higher than the STEM premium for men. As a result, the gender wage gap is smaller in STEM jobs than in non-STEM jobs.
- Women hold a disproportionately low share of STEM undergraduate degrees, particularly in engineering.
- There are many possible factors contributing to the discrepancy of women and men in STEM jobs, including: a lack of female role models.
As a recent recipient of the National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP)’s IF/THEN grant program, we found opportunities to address this issue head-on with our STEM Explorers program. To help inspire change and to bring about opportunities for access and representation in STEM, NGCP created the IF/THEN program “to bring together organizations throughout the United States that are committed to informing and encouraging girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics" (STEM).
The STEM Explorers Program provided Girl Scout troops of all ages opportunities to visit the Science Center, where they experienced hands-on, STEM discovery labs, allowing the girls to learn about incredible female scientists (IF/THEN Ambassadors), gain relevant career exposure, and 21st-Century skills such as collaboration and problem-solving.
Troops were also given customized Exploration Guides, created by the Orlando Science Center education team in collaboration with the Girl Scouts of Citrus, to lead them through interactive exhibits throughout the Science Center. As the girls explored the Science Center, they worked to earn Girl Scout Badges aligned to focus areas such as math, science, and nature.
Check out this incredible program in action thanks to our partners at Girl Scouts of Citrus! We were honored to host these incredible STEM Explorers, and we can’t wait to see what they do next!
Want to inspire a young scientist in your life? Check out the links below for inspiration: