Microsoft is partnering with the Girls Scouts of USA to offer free STEM badge workshops at its retail stores.
“Girl Scouts of the USA and all Microsoft Stores in the U.S. are now launching free Microsoft Store badge workshops for Girl Scouts troops across the country,” Microsoft’s Vanessa Ho writes. “The partnership aims to give girls vital digital skills and foster leadership qualities to help close the gender gap in STEM fields.”
The partnership comes in the wake of a Microsoft study that found that girls lose interest in STEM— science, technology, engineering, and math—as they get older despite the high priority that is given to this curriculum in schools. This is especially true in technology and engineering, Microsoft says. And the reasons are many: They include peer pressure, the lack of good role models, the lack of support from parents as well as teachers, and a general misperception of what STEM careers look like in the real world.
The goal of Microsoft’s partnership with the Girls Scouts of USA is to connect with its 1.7 million members locally, expand the community, and expand their horizons through workshops that will help them earn five STEM badges in computer expertise, digital photography, movie-making, and robotics (there are two badges for that latter category).
“The ability to activate those troops with amazing hands-on technology and help all demographic and economic groups with digital skills really makes this partnership special,” Microsoft’s Sandra Andrews says.
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