Technology

No Girl Left Behind: Girl Scouts Expand Presence at CES

By / Jan 8, 2016 (Girl Scouts of the USA handout photo)

The Girl Scouts of the USA increased its presence at the Consumer Electronics Show to support girls in STEM fields as well as to showcase its new Digital Cookie 2.0 site, which allows consumers to buy Girl Scout cookies online.

The Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) once again attended the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). This year it was to show off the newly enhanced Digital Cookie 2.0 site and to host a Girls’ STEM Summit to encourage women to enter into a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) career.

“Girl Scouts’ presence at CES is a call-to-action for attendees, exhibitors, and press to support girls in STEM,” and to focus on “addressing gender barriers that start during childhood in order to empower the next generation of females in STEM,” a GSUSA news release said.

“Girl Scouts was a trailblazer in acquainting girls with the world of STEM, offering STEM badges since 1913, and many notable alumnae are high achievers in STEM fields,” said GSUSA CEO Anna Maria Chávez. “Now we are bringing the next generation of innovators to CES, exposing them to the newest big things in the world of tech, and further cementing women, girls, and the Girl Scouts as leaders in STEM.”

During GSUSA’s first-ever Girls’ STEM Summit on January 6, 25 Girl Scouts had the chance to learn from experts, including U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith, about how STEM influences the world, as well as explore the career opportunities within the fields.

According to a study from the Girl Scout Research Institute, 73 percent of girls are interested in STEM-related fields, but girls are more likely to “drop out” of STEM fields once they get to college. It also found that about half of all girls don’t think STEM is a typical career path for women, and 57 percent agreed if they went into a STEM career, “they’d have to work harder than a man just to be taken seriously.”

Though not every Girl Scout was able to attend CES, the Girl Scouts are encouraging girls to get involved in STEM through its Digital Cookie 2.0 site. In 2014, GSUSA revolutionized its cookie program when it introduced Digital Cookie, which allowed Girl Scouts to sell cookies online via a personalized website or in-person using a mobile app.. The site was “a first step in preparing girls to be leaders in the high-tech, fast paced, e-commerce world of today,” the group said.

Girls from the Girl Scouts of Northern California and Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada demonstrated the new website at this year’s CES. In addition to allowing attendees to buy Girl Scout Cookies, the site includes new quizzes, games, videos, and activities that teach about budgeting and resource allocation.

“Adding an online layer to the cookie program has vastly expanded the way Girl Scouts teaches the five essential skills of goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics,” Chávez said. “It’s all part of Girl Scouts’ legacy of teaching cutting-edge skills relevant to today’s girls, while staying true to the core values of our mission. Digital Cookie 2.0 is allowing us to do this on a whole new level, which will help girls in school, in their careers, and in life.”

By 2017, GSUSA hopes to evolve to a fully integrated e- and m-commerce Digital Cookie platform, according to Sheila Narayanan, chief digital girl experience executive.

“In the meantime, Girl Scouts will continue to sharpen their business skills with the latest tools,” she says. “We are proud to provide councils across the country access to these tech and business training wheels, equipping girls with skills that give them an advantage in whatever endeavors they choose for their future.”

Katie Rucke

Katie Rucke is former Associate Editor for Associations Now. More »

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