Girl Scouts of California’s Central Coast (GSCCC), with the support of a grant from Edison International, is helping Girl Scouts in Ventura County expand their knowledge in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) related skills. A variety of Girl Scout program activities inspire girls to “Imagine STEM” (Imagine) and embrace and celebrate scientific discovery in their lives. STEM is one of Girl Scouts’ program pillars to help girls discover which science careers they find most exciting, whether it’s an electrical engineer, a food scientist, or a forensic scientist, there’s something for every girl!
GSCCC has a strong presence in Ventura County, supporting over 7,200 girls and local volunteer members, some of which are low-income girls. The Imagine program builds STEM academic skills, provides hands-on learning opportunities, and introduces girls to STEM careers. Grant-funded Imagine activities provide opportunities for girls of every age to enjoy hands-on experiments, identify STEM all round them in day to day activities, and expand their ability to care for their environment.
One such group is a newly forming troop from a middle school in Oxnard. During the ten-week STEM-oriented series funded by Edison International, Girl Scouts learned how to use their investigative skills, from building complex structures from toothpicks and marshmallows to planting seeds in biodegradable containers while analyzing the data in their journals. The girls chose to put their new skills to use by creating hand-made jewelry, stress balls, origami boxes, and other crafts by the completion of the program. They packaged up their hand-made creations and donated a basket to the Ventura County Medical Center’s Pediatric Specialty Care Unit. The girls, aged 11 through 13, requested that the program be extended as they were excited about acquiring new skills and their ability to give back to the local community.
Grants help fund programs such as the Imagine program in Ventura County’s most underserved communities, including Oxnard, El Rio, Port Hueneme, Santa Paula and Fillmore. The Imagine program provides science and math, technology, engineering, conservation and leadership development skills year round. The Imagine program provides opportunities for low-income Girl Scouts of every age to take a significant step forward in knowledge and use STEM skills to improve their lives and communities.