What did you do for your Gold Award project?
For my Gold Award, I focused on encouraging girls to pursue STEM careers by providing middle school and high school girls with role models. My research showed that STEM is primarily dominated by males with ratio being around ¾ male and ¼ females. Women in STEM is a complex issue that is caused by numerous problems. I decided to focus on role models since studies have shown that by providing successful female role models, more women are willing to put in the effort for these careers. In order to achieve this, I developed a panel consisting of engineers from many different fields within engineering. They came and talked about the challenges within the STEM field and how to overcome them. The panelists also discussed what employers are looking for both in academics and internships.
How did you measure the impact your Gold Award project made on your target audience?
I measured the impact of my project through a survey given at the end of my panel event. The survey contained questions about how to improve the event for the future and if the girls who attended had learned anything new. I also talked to many of the girls after my event to hear what they had thought about the event.
How is your project sustainable? How will your project continue to impact after your involvement?
My project will be sustained through my high school. My school has been divided up into four different academies: STEM, BHS, VPA, and LGC. As I had already done my event at the school and had numerous teachers and administers involved, my advisor/teacher is willing to sponsor another girl to run the event with the guidance of my manual, so all they must do is choose a date that works with them, find panelists, and advertise to the middle schools.
One of my panelists is a member of the Denver chapter of Business and Professional Women. When she heard that a component of the Gold Award project was that it needed to be sustained in some way, her chapter agreed to also put on this event in the future as part of their programming.
What is your project’s global and/or national connection?
The imbalance between the genders within STEM careers is a national issue. For my project to reach a wider audience nationally, I created a website. The website depicts the issue of women in STEM and highlights some of the reasons behind the difference between the genders. I sent letters to 50 schools within Colorado, ranging from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs, with the information about my event and what girls learned, why they should do it, and where they could get the manual and visit my website for more information.
What did you learn about yourself?
The most important aspect that I learned about myself was discovering what I was most passionate about and discovered my voice for it. It has enabled me to stand for what I believe in and develop solutions for the problems. It also showed me that I am able to successfully put on events as a leader.
How will earning your Gold Award impact you in the future?
My Gold Award has provided me with numerous professional skills and the ability to put on a major event. I know it will have a major impact on my ability within my own career. My Gold Award taught me invaluable tools that I need for my future career, both in acting professional and the ability to lead and develop a major event.
Why do you feel the Gold Award was an important part of your Girl Scout experience?
I have been a Girl Scout since I was in kindergarten. The Gold Award was the final award that I could complete within the program after finishing the Bronze and Silver. But, it was more than that. The Gold Award took all my leadership and event planning skills I had obtained through the program and pushed them to their limits, and expanded past what I already had. It showed me what I was able to achieve with the skills I had learned through my 13 years of being a Girl Scout.
How did earning your Gold Award help you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)?
G: The Gold Award made me find an issue that occurred within my community and forced me to find a solution, or in the case of my project be a part of the solution. It made me develop a plan in order to achieve the solution of providing role models so that I could pursue a component of the entire problem of the unbalanced genders within the STEM field.
**IMPORTANT NOTE: This blog represents only a small fraction of the hard work, dedication and requirements that go into earning a Girl Scout Gold Award. It is simply a brief summary, which is meant to inspire Girl Scouts to Go Gold in the future. For more information on earning your Gold Award, please email firstname.lastname@example.org