Girl Scouts unveils 30 new STEM-related badges, including space exploration and cybersecurity

Girl Scouts of the USA announced today that it will introduce a slew of new badges that address what it called “some of society’s most pressing needs” by homing in on STEM and technology-related issues and advocacy for girls.

The 30 badges will be available exclusively for girls between the ages of five and 18 for efforts and advocacy in cybersecurity, robotics, computer science, space exploration, and the environment. The badges will be earned when girls learn how to code or design robots, take action to protect the environment, or learn how to spot crimes being committed online. The new offerings are among a number of badges the organization has introduced over the past years to boost interest and participation in fields where women are traditionally underrepresented.

In November of last year, the Girl Scouts announced that it would integrate STEM-related programs into its organization to help reduce the gender gap in those fields in the future.

“Whether they are fighting cybercrime, exploring how engineers solve problems, or advocating for issues affecting their community, Girl Scouts are learning how to proactively address some of the foremost challenges of today while also building skills that will set them up for a lifetime of leadership,” Girl Scouts USA CEO Sylvia Acevedo said.

While the new badges are good, discrepancies between Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts badges remain. The Girl Scouts badges for cooking seem to spotlight the social aspects of food, where the Boy Scouts meal-related badge focuses on nutrition and food safety. In October last year, the Boy Scouts of America announced it would begin accepting girls into the program.