Think Girl Scouts just sell cookies and make crafts? Think again.
The organization recently announced the addition of 23 new badges focused on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) topics, as well as the outdoors, to help girls develop an interest — and possibly pursue careers — in what are typically male-dominated fields.
And it's a much-needed effort. Research has shown that girls lose interest in these fields by the age of 15, and not getting enough hands-on experience with STEM subjects is one of the contributing factors.
Now, Girl Scouts can earn badges for accomplishing tasks like programming robots or writing code. There are even financial literacy badges (our personal favorites, although we admit we're pretty biased) aimed at preparing girls for a financially sound future.
We can all thank the Girl Scouts' new CEO, Sylvia Acevedo, for these awesome additions. Acevedo, who assumed the role in May, is literally a rocket scientist and a champion of STEM education for girls.
These new badges are meant to address "the lack of exposure many girls have to STEM," Acevedo told CNN Tech.
Hopefully, spurring interest at such a young age will translate into both satisfying and lucrative careers down the line. In a recent survey of over 1,000 college graduates, 81% of science, math and tech majors were satisfied with their choice in major — the highest of any category. And of 2017's entry-level job salaries, the five highest paying were all in STEM.
As a former Girl Scout, myself, I'm a little jealous of these new badges — I would have much rather learned how to code than craft countless "swaps" for the yearly camping trip.