Union Pacific Foundation Awards $5,000 Grant to Girl Scouts of Northeast Kansas and Northwest Missouri (GSKM)

Girl Scouts of Northeast Kansas and Northwest Missouri (GSKM) recently received a grant for $5,000 from the Union Pacific Foundation to help build the pipeline of female leaders in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

The Girl Scouts STEM programs focus on helping girls develop critical thinking skills to discover their potential and realize their options for careers paths through hands-on, inquiry-based learning on a wide variety of STEM topics. The program engages girls in three key areas of leadership – girls discover themselves; connect with others; and take action to make the world a better place and use the Girl Scout learning process: girl-led, learning is cooperative, and learn by doing. Volunteer-led STEM programs will be available for troops at camp properties. Programming includes environmentally-focused, hands-on activities such as geocaching and astronomy.

Although 57 percent of college graduates are women, only 25 percent of STEM workforce positions are held by women. Girls begin to lose interest in STEM subjects around third grade. They perceive they cannot excel in STEM subjects and do not envision themselves as future scientists, engineers, or mathematicians.  Volunteer-led STEM programs on camp properties introduce 1,400 girls to STEM concepts in nature and challenge them to try new things.  These activities increase creative problem-solving ability, confidence in approaching STEM school-work, exposure to STEM career fields, and an interest in learning more about STEM.

Girl Scouts is a premier youth development program in Greater Kansas City and throughout the nation. The purpose of Girl Scouts is best stated in its mission – to build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.  Girl Scouts seeks to help children and youth succeed in life through providing structured programs to develop life skills.  Girl Scouts, open to all girls grades K – 12, gives girls the opportunity to develop practical life skills within a safe environment and to form healthy relationships with peers and caring adults.