Girl Scouts offer new badge opportunities

Girl Scouts of Connecticut and Girl Scouts of the USA recently revealed 42 new badges circling around STEM and the outdoors. The badges are exclusively for girls in grades K–12 and allow them to make their own choices about how they want to experience and influence the world.

The badges enhance the organization’s existing girl-led programming, offering girls everything from adventuring in the snow or mountains to learning how to use coding to solve problems they care about.

 

Among the 42 new offerings are Outdoor High Adventure badges that feature, for the first time in Girl Scouts’ history, two distinct activity options, letting girls choose how they want to earn each badge.

In addition to existing badge offerings, girls in grades 6–12 can now pursue:

 

Nine Cybersecurity badges, through which girls learn about the inner workings of computer technology and cybersecurity and apply concepts of safety and protection to the technology they use every day. Activities range from decrypting and encrypting messages, to learning proper protection methods for devices, to exploring real-world hacking scenarios (funded by Palo Alto Networks).

Three Space Science badges, through which girls explore topics such as the universe and their place in it, properties of light, and inspiring careers in space science (funded by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate and led by the SETI Institute).

Think Like a Citizen Scientist, a Girl Scout Leadership Journey during which girls participate in interactive activities to practice observation techniques; collect data; and share their findings with real-world scientists through an online network. As with all of Girl Scouts’ Leadership Journeys, girls use their newly honed skills to take action on a community issue of their choosing (funded by Johnson & Johnson and The Coca-Cola Foundation).

To prepare girls in grades 6 to 12 to pursue computer science careers, Girl Scouts will launch the organization’s first Cyber Challenge events in select areas this fall. At these events, which will take place Oct. 19, girls will learn crucial cybersecurity skills by completing challenges such as running traceroutes and identifying phishing schemes (funded by Raytheon).

The new programming for girls in grades K–12 includes:

 

Twelve Outdoor High Adventure badges, designed for girls to explore nature and experience outdoor adventures like backpacking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, rock climbing, and tree climbing—giving them the confidence to support one another, take healthy risks, and spend dedicated time in nature.

Eighteen Coding for Good badges, which not only teach girls the basics of coding but also detail how every stage of the coding process provides girls with opportunities to use their skills for good. Girls will learn about algorithms through age-appropriate, creative activities, such as coding positive memes to spread a message about a cause they care about, designing a digital game to educate people about an issue, and developing an app to promote healthy habits. Every Coding for Good badge includes a plugged-in and unplugged version, so that all girls can learn the foundations of coding, regardless of their access to technology (funded by AT&T and Dell Technologies).