America Makes and the Girl Scouts of North East Ohio Forge STEM Partnership

Collaboration creating additive manufacturing playbook and patch to help bridge STEM gender gap; effort enabled via funding from the state of Ohio.

Collaboration creating additive manufacturing playbook and patch to help bridge STEM gender gap; effort enabled via funding from the state of Ohio.

On the 109th birthday of the Girl Scouts of America (GSUSA) organization, America Makes and the Girl Scouts of North East Ohio (GSNEO) announce their partnership to promote STEM education through additive manufacturing (AM) techniques to the more than 25K GSNEO members with plans to launch the program to the 2.5M Girl Scouts nationally.

 

The organizations will also create a Playbook for best practices on integrating AM into Girl Scout programming for use when deploying the new America Makes Additive MFG Patch—reportedly the first-ever AM patch.

This patch will be earned through engagement in the AM technical areas of design, manufacturing and post-production. The America Makes Additive MFG Patch is aligned to many Girl Scout Badges, including STEM and others where AM can be applied and integrated. Badges are an integral part of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, which focuses on four content pillars of Outdoors, Life Skills, Entrepreneurship and STEM, with the goal of fostering courage, confidence and character in girls to prepare them for leadership.

 

This America Makes Education and Workforce Development (EWD) project with the GSNEO is part of a larger plan funded by the State of Ohio to create an Ohio Secondary Education Network to expand opportunities for students and teachers. Designed to foster innovation and entrepreneurship, the network will enable access to advanced manufacturing technologies through formal education and training, and engagement through community organizations like the GSNEO.

“Thanks to the funding from the State of Ohio, we were able to enter into this strategic partnership with the GSNEO to bring the Playbook and America Makes Additive MFG Patch into reality,” says Josh Cramer, America Makes Education & Workforce director. “The opportunity to work with our local GSNEO council has been inspiring for all of us at America Makes.

“The Girl Scouts are dedicated to building skills and interests in STEM—fields that unfortunately reflect great gender disparity,” continues Cramer. “Within the AM industry for example, less than 15 percent of professionals are women. Girl Scout programming is specifically designed to reverse this trend and promote STEM, ensuring K-12 girls are empowered to pursue STEM-related fields and compete successfully for these positions.”

The GSUSA has been working on its initiative, The National Girl Scout STEM Pledge, to help reduce the gender gap in STEM fields by engaging 2.5M girls in this area by 2025. Within the GSNEO council, the goal is to engage 37K throughout the next few years. More than 14K girls in Northeast Ohio have earned a STEM badge in the last year alone.

“Girl Scouts is more than cookies, crafts and camping,” says Jane Christyson, chief executive officer, GSNEO. “Our program is the largest leadership opportunity for girls and now with more than a 100 new STEM badges, we are showing our girls new possibilities in fields like AM. By encouraging girls to explore concepts in this fast-growing field, we are creating a female talent pipeline.”

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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