Local Girl Scout Troop 5198 learn about science

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Girl Scout Cookie time is finally here, and scouts all over the area are knocking on doors to take orders.

But the cookie sales are about more than just the cookies in the box. The girls learn communication skills, goal-setting, and money management.

The cookie sale is just one of many Girl Scout programs educating girls in areas where girls continue to fall behind.

These areas include math, science and technology. According to the National Science Foundation, women make up 46 percent of the U.S. labor force, but a mere 22 percent of scientists and engineers.

In Southampton, a Girl Scout troop of more than 50 girls from an “at risk” neighborhood is breaking through those statistics.

Troop 5198 is learning about science through hands on activities and field trips. Most recently, they visited the Virginia Aquarium to spend a night with fish. They toured the museum and learned about the various animals that live there.

In a more in-depth learning experience, the girls at the aquarium earned their Salt Water badge.

They identified different saltwater plants and animals found in the Colonial Coast region and studied the Chesapeake Bay.

They learned about environmental protection and the effects weather has on the Bay.

All of this is learned through hands on, adult-guided activities which are adjusted for each age group. These learning experiences emphasize the Girl Scout Leadership Experience.

They encourage girls to: discover, by seeking challenges and striving to learn new things; connect, by seeing themselves as leaders and using teamwork; and take action, by making a difference in their communities and advocating for themselves and others.

It contributes to building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.

Girl Scout Council of Colonial Coast, a United Way agency, serves 17,000 girls, ages 5 to 17, and 5,000 adult volunteers in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina.

If you’d like to volunteer or for more information about Girl Scouts, visit the Web site at www.gsccc.org.

Girl Scouts of the USA is working to reverse the gender gap in the sciences by providing collaborative programs and hands-on activities through a program called STEM (science, technology, engineering and math.)

More and more girls are gaining confidence, technological skills, career exploration opportunities, and hands-on experience in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology.