As more jobs open up in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, Girl Guides of Canada is incorporating more STEM activities into its programming. “We want to help support girls in making career decisions and not shy away from the STEM industry, given the barriers and gender inequalities girls face in pursuing STEM in school and professionally,” says Rochelle Strauss, Senior Manager of Programming at the Girl Guides of Canada National Office. Plus, the girls, their families and Guiders are requesting it. “They’ve all told us they want more STEM opportunities, so it’s at the forefront of their thoughts,” says Strauss.

Integrating STEM into programming and planning

The Girl Guides’ STEM-focused programming aligns with the organization’s vision of “a better world by girls” and its mission “to be a catalyst for girls empowering girls.” The program aims to provide a safe and supportive space for girls to explore new activities, ask questions, and do hands-on experiments on STEM-related topics — something they may not feel as comfortable with in a school setting. “We know that when girls participate in STEM, they find it fun and engaging, and are then more likely to remain interested in the fields as they get older,” Strauss says.

Girls are exposed to the four disciplines through unit meetings, camps, conferences, and workshops. The organization also works to identify and showcase Canadian and international female role models in STEM fields. “It’s a chance for those women to inspire and motivate the girls, share great stories, and show them what they can become,” says Strauss. Girl Guides is launching their new Girls First program this fall, which will feature STEM programming that includes robotics, engineering biology, physics, and financial literacy, with new content to be added yearly.

Being a Girl Guide gives each girl the opportunity to be everything she wants to be. Help your daughter explore her potential with Girl Guides.