Girl Scouts of the USA: Short-Term Volunteers in Computer Science
Org: Girl Scouts of the USA
Girl Scouts’ National STEM Strategy offers all girls a high-quality, progressive STEM programming and experiences increasing their STEM interest, confidence, and competency. We believe that this will translate to more women in STEM, closing the digital divide and a reduction in economic inequalities.
Each of the three STEM focus areas (computer science, outdoor STEM, and engineering) has a thematic foundational base with progressive badges based on specific skills.
Computer Science Foundational Series
The Think Like a Programmer Journey introduces Girl Scouts to Computational Thinking — a way of solving problems, designing systems and understanding human behavior that draws on concepts fundamental to computer science.
Skills badges may be earned in areas such as coding, cyber security, video game creation, and robotics.
Skilled volunteers are needed to teach girls via these curriculum guides, thus building a pipeline for future female Computer Scientists.
Opportunities are available at Girl Scout councils nationwide, and can be facilitated virtually if needed. To learn more, please contact Jaime Denniston-Merced from GSUSA at jdenniston-merced@girlscouts.
How to use this Activity in your Project BPC Plan:
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The PI will work with four undergraduate volunteers from the ACM-W chapter to volunteer in local Girl Scout troops for 10 hours per year.
1. Context & Goals
Goal: The PI will volunteer for 10 hours each year with local Girl Scout troops as they work through the Coding for Good, Cybersecurity, or Robotics Badge Requirements. Four undergraduate volunteers will participate with the PI each year.
Activity Motivation: “Skilled volunteers are needed to teach girls via these curriculum guides, thus building a pipeline for future female Computer Scientists.” (Girl Scout entry in the BPCnet.org activity library). Additionally, the PI will have the opportunity to get to know four undergraduate volunteers who will be recruited from the campus ACM-W chapter. The PI can mentor the undergraduate volunteers and provide encouragement to the Girl Scout participants to continue in computing.
2. Intended Population
Activity Participants: Girl Scouts troops and four undergraduate volunteers from the ACM-W chapter.
Participant Recruitment: The four volunteers have already been recruited and have all completed their background checks, which is required by the Girl Scouts. The PI will recruit replacement volunteers each year, as needed. The PI contacted their local Girl Scout council who has agreed to help identify troops who would be interested in pursuing the Coding for Good, Cybersecurity, or Robotics Badge Requirements. A letter of commitment is included in the supplemental documents.
Responsibilities of PIs: The PI will be responsible for coordinating with the local Girl Scout council to identify interested groups, schedule sessions, coordinate volunteers, and arrange travel for the volunteers to the troop meetings. The PI will commit to volunteering for 10 hours each year of the grant.
Activity Content: The activity content will be determined based upon Badge Requirement books and corresponding lesson plans (Coding for Good, Cybersecurity, or Robotics). These Badge Requirements vary by the age of the students in the troop. In addition to following the provided lesson plans, the PI and student volunteers will use the PBS SciGirls Gender Equitable Teaching Strategies (GETS; http://genderequitableteachingstrategies.weebly.com/).
Activity Budget: The department has provided funding for the five background checks ($250 total) and purchasing digital copies of the Badge Requirements ($36; $2 for each of six age levels for each of Coding for Good, Cybersecurity, and Robotics). Additional background checks for volunteers in future years will cost $50/student.
Prior Experience: The PI has [Add a description of the PI’s prior experience working with K-12 students or with relevant pedagogical methods.] From this experience, the PI has [Add a description of a lesson learned from that experience that will be applied in this activity.]
Logistics: The PI has contacted their local Girl Scout council and will provide support in identifying interested troops; a letter of commitment is included in the supplemental documents. The PI has recruited four undergraduate student volunteers to help. The PI and all undergraduate students have completed the required background check.
Curriculum: As preparation, the PI downloaded and read the Badge Requirement documents for Coding for Good (one for each age group: daisies, K-1; brownies, grades 2-3; juniors, grades 4-5; cadettes, grades 6-8; seniors, 9-10; ambassadors, 11-12), Cybersecurity (one for each age group), and Robotics (one for each age group).
Pedagogy: The PI has read through the PBS SciGirls Gender Equitable Teaching Strategies (GETS; http://genderequitableteachingstrategies.weebly.com/) in preparation for working with Girl Scouts.
The PI will record and report in their NSF report, the number of Girl Scout participants and their duration of engagement. Additionally, the PI will report the number of undergraduate student volunteers who participated.
Elementary School, High School, Middle School
American Indian or Alaska Native, Black or African American, Hispanic, LGBTQ, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, Persons with Disabilities, Women
$0-$25 per student
Program Matching Funds Available?