Girl Scouts at Penn introduces STEM to young girls
In its sixth year, the event will be planned around theme of Space Exploration
November 4, 2013, 9:57 am · Updated November 4, 2013, 8:39 pm·
Girl Scouts at Penn is working to make science more accessible to young girls.
Through the Girls Understanding Technology and Science event that will be held on Nov. 23 at David Rittenhouse Laboratory, Girl Scouts at Penn is trying to “empower young women and encourage them to explore the sciences, which is a male-dominated field” said Laura Thornton, assistant director of Fox Leadership. This is the sixth time the GUTS event is being held.
Joe Tierney, executive director of Fox Leadership, said the GUTS program is the signature event for the Girl Scouts at Penn and that student leaders spearhead its organization every year.
“Girl Scouts at Penn is a project that [Fox] helped establish. However, it is entirely student run. We serve as advisers and we do contribute to some funds to provide T-shirts and a lunch for the girls who participate in the [GUTS] event,” said Tierney. “I want to emphasize that the student leadership team on this deserves credit for coming up with this idea and for implementing it each year.”
College junior and co-president of Girl Scouts at Penn Amy Phillips explained how the GUTS event is organized. Girl Scouts at Penn invites around 75 girls from the West Philadelphia Girl Scouts service unit, called Buttons and Bows, to register and come to campus. The participants are Brownies and Juniors — girls in grades two through five. Each year, the GUTS event is planned around a particular theme, with this year’s theme being Space Exploration.
There will be four to five stations, each with a different topic that pertains to the overall theme. The stations are set to be Rockets and Space Engineering, Space Food, Ethnography of the Astronaut, Astronomy and an undecided fifth topic. Tierney said the focus is to try to get the participants engaged in a fun way.
“You have second through fifth graders there, you have to do something that’s fun. Space food, that’s cool,” Tierney said. “You have to do something that will really engage them.”
Phillips agreed, saying that the GUTS event is an important push to present Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, known as STEM, in an appealing way to young girls outside of the classroom.
“This event is a great one because the STEM push has always been big for girls,” Phillips said. “The girls absolutely love the event, and it’s a great opportunity for the girls to have a place that’s outside the classroom that’s still focusing on something that’s fun and academic.”