Today’s Girl Scout, tomorrow’s scientist?…on this day

Girls showing President Obama their design for a bridge (AP Images)
Girl Scouts demonstrate a “flood-proof bridge” for President Obama that they designed as part of a STEM competition. (AP Images)

Founded over a century ago, the Girl Scouts help school-age girls build character and learn the importance of community service. On October 31, 2.3 million scouts and 57 million former scouts will celebrate Founder’s Day, the birthday of Girl Scouts of the USA founder Juliette Gordon Low.

While many Americans associate Girl Scouts with camping, hiking and cookie fundraisers, Scouts engage in many other activities as they advance in rank from Daisy to Ambassador and earn badges marking achievement in traditional subjects like hiking and first aid and more modern ones that include digital moviemaking, innovation and website design.

With 74 percent of teen girls expressing interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects, the organization has added new badges in these areas. Anna Maria Chávez, chief executive of the U.S. Girl Scouts, said that the shift in focus resulted from the organization’s own 2012 study titled Generation STEM.

So the Girl Scout selling cookies today also may be the engineer or scientist of tomorrow.