Girl Scouts of NE Kansas and NW Missouri was recently awarded a $2,500 grant from the BNSF Railway Foundation to implement Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programming.

Funding will be used to support program areas, including: Troop Leader Training; Community Partner Programs; Camp Programming; and the Outreach Program. Major costs associated to provide these core program areas include: program supplies, program center hosting, and staff salary and benefits. Staff are integral to the STEM Program. For example, the STEM Program manager's expertise is critical for guiding and creating program curriculum, training volunteers, and developing STEM activity guides for the four camp properties. 

Women who were Girl Scouts display positive life outcomes to a greater degree than women who were not Girl Scouts. Girl Scout alumnae are more likely to graduate from college, earn more money, vote, and be an active volunteer. This is the case for all Girl Scout alumnae, across ages/generations, social classes, races, and engagement in other extracurricular activities.  By 2018, America will need three million more scientists and engineers, yet women remain vastly underrepresented in STEM careers. Women account for just 20 percent of bachelor's degrees in engineering, computer science and physics. Today, only 25 percent of STEM workforce positions are held by women. Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri is committed to girls' exploration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and the advancement of girls in STEM career fields. Our hands-on, volunteer-led approach allows troop leaders and professional women working in STEM-related fields to share their expertise while mentoring and leading girls into their most underrepresented career arena.

Hosted by businesses and nonprofits, Spark Events give girls an introduction to a professional field and an opportunity to participate in an activity similar to what professionals do on a regular basis. Additional Community Partners, like zoos and universities, offer unique "field trip" experiences that provide STEM-related educational opportunities. For this granting period, there will be at least 12 Spark Events hosted by businesses, with an additional 25 Community Partners providing programming year-round.

The Girl Scouts of the United States of America (GSUSA) is a youth organization for girls in the United States and American girls living abroad.  In Girl Scouts, girls discover the fun, friendship, and power of girls together. Through a myriad of enriching experiences, such as extraordinary field trips, sports skill-building clinics, community service projects, cultural exchanges, and environmental stewardships, girls grow courageous and strong. Girl Scouting helps girls develop their full individual potential; relate to others with increasing understanding, skill, and respect; develop values to guide their actions and provide the foundation for sound decision-making; and contribute to the improvement of society through their abilities, leadership skills, and cooperation with others.