Join the Stargazers Astronomy Club!

Are you a Cadette, Senior, or Ambassador Girl Scout who loves science? Are you curious about stars, space, and astronomy? If you answered yes to either of those questions, we have the club for you!

Last June, local Girl Scouts boarded a plane and began their NASA journey to the Goddard Space Center in Maryland. They spent a week learning about the stars, the sun, space, and how to start – and run – an astronomy club. They worked through the summer to outline a series of meetings and activities to start up this fall, and now they’re ready to share this information with you!

Join us on Thursday, November 21, at 6 p.m. at the Buffalo Central Library in Downtown Buffalo where you can meet your NASA-trained Girl Scout “Mission Control” team.

As a founding member of our inaugural club, you will: Meet girls who share your interest, expand your knowledge of the cosmos, keep up with the latest news from NASA, learn to operate our awesome club telescope, hear from guest speakers, participate in hands-on activities, and more!

Meetings will be held the third Thursday of the month at the Buffalo Central Library in Downtown Buffalo from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Non-Girl Scouts who would love to join this club are invited, but must register to be a Girl Scout either at a Stargazers meeting or online at gswny.org/join.

The cost is $25 and includes a t-shirt, supplies, membership to the Buffalo Astronomical Association, and a discounted membership to the Buffalo Museum of Science.

2019-2020 Meeting Schedule:

  • November 21
  • December (no meeting – Happy Holidays!)
  • January 16
  • February (no meeting)
  • March 19
  • April 16
  • May 21
  • May 30 – Explore the Sky and S;more at Girl Scouts Camp Windy Meadows
  • June – End of year celebration, details TBD

If you have any questions, please contact Sheila Waker at 1-888-837-6410 x.6510 or sheila.waker@gswny.org.

There’s still time to participate in our 2019 STEMtastic Summer Challenge!

For the last month and a half, Girl Scouts from around Western New York have embraced STEM in the summer as they worked toward earning their STEMtastic badge. The contest is closing soon, but that doesn’t mean you can’t participate!

There are 68 total activities, but the number required varies by grade level:

  • Daisy: 20
  • Brownie: 25
  • Junior: 30
  • Cadette: 35
  • Senior: 40
  • Ambassador: 45

Once completed, you can preorder your patch by coming into any GSWNY shop or calling 1-888-837-6410. Patches can be ordered through September 30 and will arrive in late October.

Download the Checklist Here

The STEMtastic Summer Challenge has started!

Most troops have slowed down for the summer, but that doesn’t mean the Girl Scout fun has stopped. Yesterday, July 1, kicked off the STEMtastic Summer Challenge, this year’s special summer patch!

STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) isn’t just a school activity. In fact, summer is the perfect time to explore it and try new things! The STEMtastic Summer Challenge combines the fun of summertime with the excitement of science.

All you have to do is complete the minimum number of activities between July 1 and August 31, 2019. Once you’ve hit your minimum, you can come into any GSWNY shop to place your patch pre-order by September 30, 2019.

There are a total of 68 activities, and here are the numbers required per grade level:

  • Daisy: 20
  • Brownie: 25
  • Junior: 30
  • Cadette: 35
  • Senior: 40
  • Ambassador: 45

Download the complete checklist here

Why STEM Matters for Girls: The Girl Scout Difference

Over the summer, Girl Scouts announced 30 new STEM badges for girls as well as new journeys. In November 2017, the organization pledged to raise $70 million to help bring 2.5 million girls into the STEM pipeline by 2025. While many viewed this news with enthusiasm, some still ask why it matters. Others argue not every girl wants to be in a STEM field and worry Girl Scouts is moving away from its roots in the outdoors. We’re here to help you understand.

What is STEM?

Before we continue, it’s important to identify exactly what STEM is. The acronym stands for science, technology, mathematics, and engineering, four subjects most girls in the United States will be exposed to, yet few will pursue.

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Why don’t more girls pursue STEM fields?

Think about the clothes you’ve seen in the kids section. The girls have frilly shirts covered with sparkles, claiming things like ‘when I grow up, I want to be a mermaid’ or ‘princess’ or ‘unicorn.’ Meanwhile boys clothes will say things like ‘astronaut.’

Realize it or not, girls are conditioned to think about more ‘feminine’ careers from a young age. This is encouraged through stereotypes and the underlying current of sexism that still plagues our society. One of our studies found that girls were less likely to raise their hand to answer a math question if boys were in the room, even when they knew the answer.

Since we started doing STEM programming, we’ve seen success in our Girl Scouts in a number of ways. One of the most startling is when a girl admits she thought boys were just better at STEM-related activities until she was engaged in them herself. If you want to read more about that and other revelations, check out the full report.

Basically, at some point it became assumed that STEM wasn’t for girls. We’re trying to change that perception.

It goes beyond the STEM pipeline

While we strive for equality in the workforce, both in job selection and salary, it isn’t our sole reason for encouraging STEM in our girls. Most people remember that Girl Scouts is about building girls of courage, confidence, and character, but they may not know the crucial second half: who make the world a better place.

We know there are things in this world that can be improved. Through our journeys and badges, we help girls learn about taking care of the planet and conservation. We encourage them to be away of their impact and what they can do to reduce their carbon footprint. Simply put, we were a girl-led green movement before it became popular.

We know it’s not for every girl

We’re continuing to add STEM badges in areas like cybersecurity, but it doesn’t mean we think every girl needs to become an engineer or scientist. We just believe every girl has the right to choose exactly what she wants to do, and we want to increase her chances of success by exposing her to different fields.

Maybe your Girl Scout wants to be a park ranger. Or a stay at home mom. Or an accountant. Or a veterinarian. Or maybe even a princess. We’re here to support her no matter what, so your girl can have courage, confidence, and character to make the world a better place in her own chosen way.

STEM Training for Adults!

It’s hard to believe that our 2017-2018 membership year is winding down. Then again, it’s hard to believe how fast 2018 is going! As October approaches, we’ve begun to assemble our new programming for next year.

While most of our opportunities are for the girls, like trips to Maine and hockey days, we do have something scheduled that is extra special for adults.

One of Girl Scouts main objectives is getting more girls involved in STEM, both as children and professionally. This year, GSUSA added 30 new STEM badges to help push this cause. Our girls have more opportunities than ever to experience science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. While this is spectacular, you as a leader might be feeling overwhelmed. We’re here to help.

To aid in your understanding, we’re holding training for adults around the council. From October to April, you can pick a time and location that works for you!

STEM Adult Lab Learning