Philadelphia, Penn. – SciStarter and Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) are teaming up to encourage girls to pursue citizen science activities and exploration with new programming in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). Girl Scouts of the USA has launched a new “Think Like a Citizen Scientist” series developed specifically to draw girls into the excitement of authentic scientific discovery through a new, customized Girl Scouts portal on SciStarter.
“Girl Scouts is thrilled to collaborate with SciStarter on new citizen science programming, which will allow girls around the country to substantively contribute to and impact research that professional scientists are conducting,” said GSUSA CEO Sylvia Acevedo.
Arie Goodman is a troop leader from the Girl Scouts of North East Ohio Council who is working on a project in the Citizen Science series. She said, “Perhaps the best aspect of the Journey is the notion that we are helping real scientists solve real life problems, that the experiment we conducted in our hometown park could be used to help scientists make the world a better place.”
One of the fourth graders in the troop, Jaiden Miller, shared her excitement about the project: “The Citizen Scientist Journey was awesome! It was fun doing the project outside and working with nature even though one of the ants jump-scared me... I like that our experiment will help real scientists! Being in Girl Scouts is cool because it shows people that girls can do anything that boys can do. We are powerful too; I can't wait to finish our Take Action project so we can show people how to protect the planet.”
“This Girl Scout series is innovative and has the power to transform the way citizen science gets done. It inspires and supports girls to not only do citizen science, but also importantly to take action to make their efforts sustainable,” said Darlene Cavalier, Founder of SciStarter and Professor of Practice at Arizona State University. “We hope that other organizations will see the enthusiasm of Girl Scouts and recognize how easy it is to use SciStarter to help their members engage in meaningful science.”
The “Think Like a Citizen Scientist” series begins in a Girl Scout troop and online with SciStarter. Troops can select from 40 projects and research groups, including:
§ Ant-Vasion (California Academy of Science and UC Berkeley)
§ Stream Selfie (Izaak Walton League of America)
§ Project Squirrel (Hefner Museum of Natural History, Miami University)
§ GLOBE Observer: Clouds (NASA)
§ GLOBE Observer: Mosquito Mapper (NASA)
§ Globe at Night (National Optical Astronomy Observatory)
§ Nature's Notebook (USA National Phenology Network)
§ ZomBee Watch (San Francisco State University)
§ iSeeChange (iSeeChange)
§ Ant Picnic (North Carolina State University)
Troop members learn how to collect and analyze data, and after they complete the project(s) through SciStarter, the troop decides how to take action to identify and address a related problem they want to do something about. They come up with a creative and sustainable solution, put a team plan into action, and document their project on SciStarter. Girls earn two awards for completing the series: the Think Like a Citizen Scientist award and the Take Action award.
About the New Girl Scout Programming
Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) recently released new programming in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and the outdoors, areas girls are not typically encouraged to explore outside of Girl Scouting. Through hands-on and age-appropriate experiences for girls as young as five, Girl Scouts is both enhancing the important outdoor opportunities the organization is known for and addressing the lack of exposure many girls have to STEM. In fact, Girl Scouts are almost twice as likely as non–Girl Scouts to participate in STEM (60 percent versus 35 percent) and outdoor activities (76 percent versus 43 percent), according to a new report from the Girl Scout Research Institute, The Girl Scout Impact Study. The new Girl Scout programming builds girls’ skills and encourages their interest in STEM and environmental conservation from an early age, increasing their confidence in these areas—in an all-girl environment where they feel comfortable trying new things, taking appropriate risks, and learning from failure. For more information about the new badges, or to join or volunteer, visit, visit www.girlscouts.org.
SciStarter enables people from all walks of life to contribute to science through more than 1,500 searchable informal recreational activities and formal research efforts. SciStarter recruits participants through local, regional, national and global partnerships. In addition to the seven customized projects currently featured in the Girl Scout Think Like a Citizen Scientist series, dozens of additional projects on SciStarter have been recommended for all Girl Scouts. Scientists and project owners who register their projects on SciStarter and who use the SciStarter Participant API are eligible for consideration. Other membership organizations can also utilize SciStarter’s online tools to help their members engage in meaningful science.
Media Contact: Claire LaBeaux