On Saturday, January 28, Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines, alongside event partner IBM, hosted Computer Diva, an annual premiere event that helps expose Girl Scouts to topics related to computers and the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). The event served 45 Girl Scout Juniors in Wake County and provided them with the hands-on experiences exploring computers, robotics, binary code, and much more.
The event included interactive workshops such as Lego Robotics where girls were hands-on in building a robot from the ground up; Binary Beads where they learned about binary code and converted their birth date to a binary number then created bracelets using beads that represented their birthday; and Electronic Circuit Boards where girls used a kit to create different circuits by following diagrams. These workshops promoted inventiveness and creative thinking, and helped girls develop more technical science and engineering skills through real world applications.
“Through Girl Scout STEM programs, girls gain confidence and skills, receive hands-on mentoring by women in these fields, are exposed to STEM opportunities, and are able visualize themselves as both college students and professionals within a STEM field,” said Lisa M.K. Jones, chief executive officer at Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines.
According to Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI), 74 percent of girls are interested in STEM subjects and the general field of study while 82 percent of girls see themselves as “smart enough to have a career in STEM.” Through Girl Scout STEM programs, girls become resourceful problem solvers, challenge seekers, promotors of cooperation and team building, and feel empowered to make a difference in the world.
With events like Computer Diva, girls also have the opportunity to bridge the existing gender gap within these male-dominant career fields. Just asked Sadhana Anantha, Girl Scouts of the USA National Young Woman of Distinction, who Girl Scout Gold Award project focused on making STEM fields more accessible to young girls. “The stigma of ‘I can’t do or understand this because I am too young’ was a mindset I wanted to dispel. I wanted to inspire young minds to take action and encourage them to begin to create their own footprint in the world.”