Girl scouts selling cookies.
Photograph by Sarah L. Voisin—The Washington Post The Washington Post via Getty Images

They can start earning them today.

By Madeline Farber
July 25, 2017

Girl Scouts can now earn badges for designing robots and building race cars.

In a partnership with Code.org, GoldieBlox, the Society of Women Engineers, among others, Girl Scouts of the USA on Tuesday announced 23 new badges, 15 of which are science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) related.

Girls can now earn badges for programming, designing, and building robots, and constructing and testing a model car.

What’s more, there will also be six new outdoor-related badges. Girl Scouts can earn a badge for planning an environmentally-friendly camping trip, for example.

Daisies, the youngest Girl Scouts, can earn the remaining two badges by creating outdoor art and learning how to be a good neighbor.

The badges, which come after 18 new cyber-security badges were announced in June, will be available for the youngest Girl Scouts through the eldest, known as “ambassadors,” to earn.

There’s a good reason why the organization is putting such an emphasis on STEM and the great outdoors: Girl Scouts of the USA wants to get more girls interested in STEM and environmental conservation from a young age. Women make up only 29% of the science and engineering workforce, according to a report. Just 18% of computer science majors are female.

But considering Girl Scouts of the USA is 1.8 million girls strong, those statistics could change. (Already, Girl Scouts are twice as likely — 60% — to participate in STEM compared to non-Girl Scouts, the organization says).

In a statement, Girl Scouts CEO Sylvia Acevedo said that the new program puts the organization on the “cusp of a leadership renaissance for girls.”

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