Girl Scouts Created 24 New Badges This Year to Encourage Entrepreneurialism and Civic Activism

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From its humble beginnings in 1912, the Girl Scouts have come a long way and today boast 2.5 million members—1.7 million girl members and 750,000 adult members working primarily as volunteers. Originally founded by Juliette Gordon Low to help prepare young girls for their future, the group’s longevity is often accredited to its ability to modernize and adapt to a rapidly changing society.

Now, in 2020, a year that’s brought an election cycle, a global pandemic and economic upheaval, the group released a new set of badges. The 24 new badges focused on civics, entrepreneurialism, STEM career exploration, and automotive engineering cover everything from how the electoral college works, to drafting a business plan from scratch and even automotive design basics.

“There is a huge need for leaders who will advocate for the voiceless and the disadvantaged. As young women in America, we have the ability and the responsibility to create the world we want our own daughters to grow up in," says Gold Award Girl Scout and PureWow 20 in ’20 honoree Julia Trujillo. The Girl Scout program is proven to develop strong and effective leaders—see all the badges below and learn about how they continue to build on that track record.

Civics (grades K–12). Funded by Citi, the civic badges help girls gain an in-depth understanding of how local, state and federal government works, equipping them to be voters, activists and even political leaders. They research laws and how they're created, voting and the electoral college, and the representation of women in government. They also research their own government officials and are encouraged to meet them. By learning how the government works, Girl Scouts are prepared to make the world a more equitable and inclusive place. Just 24 percent of eighth-graders are proficient in civics, and only two in five American adults can name the three branches of U.S. government, highlighting the need for these badges.

Entrepreneurship (grades K–12). These badges encourage an entrepreneurial mindset as girls engage in age-appropriate exercises that help them create and pitch a product or service that solves a problem. They build their own business plan and think about topics like production, cost, profit, marketing and competition. Three in four of today's girls are interested in becoming an entrepreneur, but more than half also say they need more support in this area—these badges are designed to fill the gap.

STEM Career Exploration (grades 2–8). In this program, girls explore their career interests and connect them to STEM fields—particularly computer science, nature/environmental science, engineering, design, health and agriculture—that can help them address the pressing issues of our time. The IF/THEN® Collection, a free, downloadable digital asset library of real-life women in STEM, is an integral component of the badges. The dearth of women in STEM fields is well documented, but data shows that girls are more interested in a STEM career when they learn how they can use it to help people, demonstrating the value of Girl Scouts' unique approach.

Automotive Engineering (grades K–5). Here, girls learn about designing, engineering and manufacturing vehicles, as well as the future of mobility. They design their own vehicles, test prototypes, learn about design thinking and create their own assembly line manufacturing process. Only 13 percent of engineers are women, underscoring the need for these badges which will introduce more girls to the field.

angela pares

VP, Design + Branded Content

Angela Pares is the VP of Design + Branded Content at Gallery Media Group, where she oversees the ideation and execution of sponsored content campaigns across PureWow, ONE37pm and...