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Gold Award Girl Scout, Mairéad Murphy: STEM Club for Girls

Gold Award Girl Scout, Mairéad Murphy

It’s no secret that there is a lack of women in STEM, which is why it is one of the core program pillars of Girl Scouts, and the inspiration for Mairéad Murphy’s Gold Award project!

Even in high school, Mairéad felt the lack of female representation in STEM, motivating her to do something about it. Mairéad started a STEM Club at her local middle school for girls in fifth-eighth grade to educate, encourage and inspire more girls to engage in STEM activities and careers.

Recognizing the importance of highlighting the breadth of STEM careers, Mairéad developed a curriculum map that guided the club to explore different areas of, and influential women in, STEM each week. This allowed the girls to see how their current interests could apply to different careers. Another key to the success of the club was engaging the girls in creative and fun ways, while allowing them to work at their own pace, usually not an option in the classroom. The girls utilized the makerspace to explore their interests, work on creative thinking, and create their own inventions.

The program culminated in a final fair where girls showcased projects highlighting different areas of STEM. The learning won’t end there though, the curriculum developed by Mairéad is ready for the next go-getter to pick up and share with another group of eager students, and Mairéad’s new found passion for teaching will likely benefit many girls for years to come.