Girl Scouts provides a safe space for girls to explore their interest and develop new skills outside the classroom. Each year, Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines hosts TechnoQuest Raleigh, an event at Meredith College where Girl Scout Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors explore topics and opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). This year, TechnoQuest Raleigh took place on Saturday, November 9th, 2019 and the 118 Girl Scouts in attendance explored a variety of STEM topics through engaging activities led by STEM professionals. The Lead Sponsor was Duke Energy and additional sponsors included Google Fiber, Citrix, and First Citizens Bank.
The day-long event provided girls with opportunities to attend a variety of workshops of their choosing to help them unleash their inner innovators and discover new talents. Sessions included chemistry by Glaxo Smith Kline and UNC, product design and marketing by Citrix, virology by Duke Women in Science, magnetics and engineering by Techsplorers, an introduction to LinkedIn by Microsoft, coding and robotics by Zebra Robotics, space science by NASA Solar System Ambassadors, and more. Activities like these show girls that they can accomplish anything that they set their minds to while promoting inventiveness and creative thinking through real-world applications.
The Girl Scouts also had the chance to attend a speed mentoring session with Meredith College faculty members and other female STEM professionals where they learned their stories and about how they accomplished their goals. These women served to inspire girls by showing them that glass ceilings were meant to be broken when it comes to women in STEM. By attending events like TechnoQuest and meeting with female role models in STEM, Girl Scouts can more easily envision themselves pursuing interests in these fields regardless of gender barriers.
According to the Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI), 77% of girls say that because of Girl Scouts, they are considering a career in technology. Additionally, 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. This year, 42 new Girl Scout badges were released, most of which involving STEM. Ranging from cybersecurity to astronomy, these new badges, along with STEM program events like TechnoQuest allow girls to feel empowered through new experiences. TechnoQuest is one of the most popular and successful events in doing just that, and continues to thrive as an innovative and exciting way for Girl Scouts to unleash their inner G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader).
A second TechnoQuest event will take place at East Carolina in March. For more information about Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines and its STEM programs for girls, please visit www.nccoastalpines.org or call (800) 284-4475.