STEM focus part of Girl Scouts badge system

Posted at 5:58 PM, May 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-21 20:07:38-04

What comes to mind when you think of Girl Scouts? The cookies they roll out once a year might stand out to you.

But as Six On Your Side discovers, science, technology, engineering and math have always been a part of the group's culture.

At "Explore Your World STEM Day" in Boise, dozens of Girls Scouts have access to a learning bus, along with tons of other hands-on activities.

Over 25 booths were set up at the Sacred Heart School Saturday, all with folks poised to share their love for science, technology, engineering, and math with Girl Scouts.

It's a much appreciated opportunity for Annabelle Jenkins, 10, who is homeschooled. She is considering a career path in engineering or geology.

"I really love that we get to do all the hands-on activities," Jenkins says. "We also get to have fun and make friends... learn (laughs)."

STEM has been a part of the Girl Scouts badge earning system since 1913.

The third annual event showcases how diverse the Girl Scouts opportunity can be.

"Many times with Girl Scouts, they think that it's only cookies, camp and crafts but we're so much more," says Jeannie Pattan, experience director for Girl Scouts of Silver Sage. "We have the STEM, we have the outdoors... everything possible for the girls."

New members are welcome year-round and are invited to consider signing up for the Girls Scouts upcoming summer camp in McCall.

Not only are the youngsters learning things like how there are systems in place to ensure clean drinking water, they're learning that STEM fields serve a real purpose.

"Doing good science and using the current technologies all come together to help us solve our problems in the world and all of these girls have an opportunity to be a part of that," concludes Julie Scanlin, University of Idaho water education.