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Girl Scouts explore fun, challenges of STEM


Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania (GSWPA) has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation to help girls experience the fun and challenges of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through hands-on, cooperative learning opportunities.

Women are still underrep­resented in higher-paying positions, especially in science and engineering. Despite the higher earning potential, many girls don’t see themselves in STEM careers. A study conducted by the Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI) found that 81% of all high school girls are interested in pursuing STEM careers, but only 13% say it is their first choice, with about half of all girls believing that STEM isn't a typical career path for girls.

“Helping girls explore STEM careers through the Girl Scouts can help change the perception that science and math aren’t for them,” said Patricia A. Burkart, CEO of GSWPA. “With help from community partners like the Verizon Foundation, GSWPA can connect more girls to STEM experiences relevant to everyday life and show them that their dreams are possible.”

With the support of the Verizon Foundation, GSWPA will offer a series of programs aimed at promoting STEM concepts through inventive, girl-led scientific discovery coupled with real-world activities.

Using the STEM Journey “It’s Your Planet—Love It,” girls in grades 2-5 will participate in programs that explore grade-appropriate environmental issues such as clean water, noise pollution, global warming, soil contamination, and agricultural processes.

Along with these ideas, participating girls will be introduced to a wide variety of professional fields that make use of science, technology, engineering, and math all in a supportive, all-girl setting. 


Photo: Bill Carnahan, Vice President External Affairs at Verizon, presents a check for $10,000 to our CEO Patricia Burkart. The grant, awarded to GSWPA from the Verizon Foundation, will help girls experience the fun and challenges of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through hands-on, cooperative learning opportunities in Girl Scouts.


About Girl Scouts
Founded in 1912, Girl Scouts of the USA is the preeminent leadership experience for girls and is the leading authority on girls' healthy development. Girl Scouts builds girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. The 2.8-million-member organization serves girls from every corner of the United States and its territories. Girl Scouts of the USA also serves American girls and their classmates attending American or international schools overseas in 90 countries. For more information on how to join, volunteer, reconnect or donate to Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania, call 800-248-3355 or visit