Gold Award Project Inspires Girls to Pursue STEM

Contributed by Ashley P.

Someone once told me “You can’t be what you can’t see.” These words come to my mind when I think of the gender disparity in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workforce. History shows us how few female scientists there were in the past; women like Roseland Franklin or Marie Curie are usually the only two that come to mind. Although the numbers are not as grim today, women still only make up 24% of STEM jobs.

When young girls cannot see other females in STEM careers, they lack passion towards science since they don’t have many role models to look up to. I began to realize this immense situation when I joined the Technology and Engineering Focus group, which is a program at my school that helps students follow their career path. When I found out that I was the only girl in the program, I felt intimidated and hesitated to join. But, I finally realized that fear shouldn’t control my dreams and goals in life, so I joined the Focus Group and haven’t regretted my decision since. 

As a Girl Scout, I have a passion to make a change in the world. I recently began my Gold Award Project, in which a Girl Scout solves a problem in their community in order to earn the Gold Award. The Gold Award is the highest award a Girl Scout can achieve. For my project, I’m focusing on the lack of women in the STEM fields issue by creating a program to do fun science experiments with third grade girls. I hope to spark their interest in science and math, which is also how I became interested as a child. While completing the program, I arrange to give science or engineering toys to the younger girls to continue to inspire them in these subjects. Furthermore, I created a blog for kids that teach them how to complete fun and easy science experiments at home.

Science Experiments

I know what I’ve done are very small steps toward making a difference, but if we all work together to increase the passion of science in younger girls, then women will no longer be a minority in STEM careers in the future. This is not only a women’s issue, it affects everyone because of the advances women can make for the world. I urge all of you to think about how you can change the stats. If we all look within ourselves and make a conscious effort to inspire girls the same way we inspire boys to look at STEM, then we can ensure gender stereotypes will not have a say in the future career choices of our young girls.

Ashley P. is a Girl Scout in 10th grade. Visit her Tumblr blog to explore fun and easy science experiments.