Girls Get STEM: Unleash Your Inner Scientist – from Girls Scouts of the USA and Discovery Education – is a national initiative sparking girls’ interest in STEM through dynamic digital resources available at no-cost to educators, parents, troops, and students. The program offers girl-led resources for kids in grades K-6.
Girls Get STEM develops solutions to foster and sustain girls’ STEM interest and grow the future STEM pipeline. Women continue to be underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. Women’s representation is low at all levels of the STEM career pipeline, from interest and majoring in a STEM field in college, to having a career in the field in adulthood. Studies show that girls lose interest in math and science during middle school, leading to a wider gender gap in the STEM workforce. The program engages girls at a critical juncture of interest.
Recent findings from the Girl Scouts Research Institute shows that girls who engage in STEM activities are nearly twice as likely to want to have a job in STEM. Additionally, these kids are stronger leaders with excellent grades, intend to graduate college, and are fueled to pursue a STEM future.
Girls Get STEM is guided by a research-based two-pronged approach: 1. Prime early interest in STEM that already exists in girls (Girls DO like STEM!); and 2. Turn interest into action to make STEM a career choice for girls. Girls Get STEM ensures girls see who they want to be while unleashing their inner scientist.
Girls Get STEM is a collaboration between the Girls Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) – a nationwide leadership development program of 1.8 million girls and 800,000 adults – and Discovery Education, a global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12. Girls Get STEM leverages Discovery Education’s core capabilities in creating STEM curriculum and diverse network of 4.5 million educators and 45 million students worldwide. The program not only provides solutions to the STEM gender gap, it inherently aligns with GSUSA’s mission and Discovery Education’s commitment to growing the next generation of STEM solution seekers.
Shortly after the program launched in October 2018, Girls Get STEM created the “Unleash Your Citizen Scientist Virtual Field Trip” (VFT) to inspire students to take positive action through STEM in their classrooms and communities. Accompanied by digital curriculum, including educator and troop leader guides plus classroom activities, the 30-minute VFT transports students to the STEM Center of Excellence in Dallas, Texas where STEM comes to life with women at the helm, demonstrating that any student can use the scientific method to build a better world.
During the premiere month, Girls Get STEM: Unleash Your Inner Scientist VFT reached +103,500 students. On social media, conversations about the VFT garnered 25+ million impressions and there were nearly 800 tweets about the VFT. The VFT page of the website has over 14,000 pageviews, and email communications garnered nearly 50% open rates. Discovery Education pitched the news about the Girls Get STEM: Unleash Your Inner Citizen Scientist VFT to education trades across the nation, which resulted in 176 stories and +50 million impressions. Premiere watch parties were also hosted at GSUSA’s headquarters with GSUSA employees in NYC in addition to Discovery Education’s HQ outside Washington, DC with attendees including local troop leaders, troops, and employees.
By tapping into Discovery Education’s vast network of teachers and students, the VFT was shared with teachers as an opportunity for students to learn citizen science and how:
- The scientific method can help build a better world
- STEM can inspire positive action in classrooms and communities
- Kids can help collect and analyze data for real-world scientists to use to create big solutions
This immersive experience is accompanied by standards-aligned digital curriculum, including educator guides and classroom activities all available at no cost. Mix and match all the program resources, including the dynamic STEM bundles, to further amplify the power of STEM learning.
Together, GSUSA and Discovery Education increase access to inspiring and engaging STEM learning materials and demonstrate real-world leadership by women. Girls Get STEM provides what’s needed to make a future of STEM come true by showing girls what they can be through the representation of diverse leaders combined with empowering STEM education. Overall, the Girls Get STEM program addresses gender equity in STEM education by understanding what the girls of today need to become the leaders of tomorrow through thoughtful integration of feedback, user testing, educator evaluation, troop feedback sessions, and STEM leadership.
Since launch in 2018, Girls Get STEM has reached 1.5 million students across the United States, with resources being downloaded 13,000 times total and video views capping 30,000+ views. During the premiere month, Girls Get STEM: Unleash Your Inner Scientist VFT reached +103,500 students. On social media, conversations about the VFT garnered 25+ million impressions and there were nearly 800 tweets about the VFT. The VFT page of the website has over 14,000 pageviews, and email communications garnered nearly 50% open rates. Discovery Education pitched the news about the Girls Get STEM: Unleash Your Inner Citizen Scientist VFT to education trades across the nation, which resulted in 176 stories and +50 million impressions.