Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains unveiled the council’s new STEM On-The-Go van in October at the G.I.R.L. Expo, an initiative to bring state-of-the-art technical education to girls across New Hampshire and Vermont.
This vehicle will have mobile broadband, a SmarTV monitor, surface computer tablets, microscopes, a 3D printer, solar panels, and more. Council employee, Sarah Hoffschwelle, will take the Girl Scout programming to girls around the two states, providing onsite delivery of the STEM programs and activities that are focused on the needs and interests of girls, ensuring consistent, high-quality Girl Scout programming.
For the past year, Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains has worked to raise $150,000 to buy and outfit the van, as well as provide marketing, outreach, staffing and operational costs for the program. The STEM on-the-go van will be on the road during the program year and can be requested and reserved by Girl Scout troops or communities. It will also be a feature at day and resident camps throughout the year, giving camp staff the opportunity to enhance outdoor programs with STEM activities.
This summer, Girl Scouts released 42 new badges for girls to earn, including nine cybersecurity badges, three space science badges, and 18 coding for good badges. They join other badges like home scientist, mechanical engineering, robotics, website designer, and digital movie maker.
Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) is one of the four pillars of the Girl Scout Experience, along with the outdoors, entrepreneurship, and life skills. Access to quality STEM programs is crucial. This vehicle enables the council to deliver STEM programming to 80% of the membership living in rural and hard-to-access areas. Girls interested in the sciences will now be able to see a future for themselves in those fields.
“We are so excited to get the STEM on-the-go van out to our Girl Scout communities,” said Patricia Mellor, CEO of Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains. “It was so rewarding to see our volunteers lining up to reserve the van and its many programs for their troops and communities. We are so thankful to the many supporters who made this important work possible.”
The Girl Scout council continues to seek funding to finalize the outfitting of the van including “wish list” equipment and program supplies, some of which will need regular replenishing.