“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get to do this,” said Jennie, 18, another member of the troop.
The entire process has been a team effort. Garland refers to the River City Amateur Radio members as “team hamster” and the girl scouts as “team troopers.”
“That’s how I refer to everybody,” she said.
“The parents have helped out immensely (but) the students — the troopers — have been phenomenal. And my hamsters have been very flexible and really responsive to this project,” she said. “And I really, really appreciate that.”
Girl Scouts support women and girls in STEM
According to the National Science Foundation, 12.3 million women were employed in STEM jobs in the United States in 2021 — just over one-third of the total workforce when compared with their male counterparts. While that number has grown from 9.4 million in 2011, more progress in equity for technical, research and scientific jobs remains a priority for educators and for the Girl Scouts.
Adriana Pedroza, associate director of girl experience for the council, believes it’s important to find more opportunities for girls of all ages to know and learn from female STEM professionals in the field. The ARISS program is just one of the many ways the Girl Scouts are providing those opportunities for capital region families.
“It really fosters their sense of belonging in that space,” Pedroza said.
Alana, 14, wants to pursue a career that incorporates “a little bit of music and a little bit of science.”
“I’ve always been interested in science. I’ve loved doing stuff with like technology and engineering stuff,” she said. “So Girl Scouts has really helped me build on my courage.”
According to the national Girl Scouts organization, 80% of female leaders in tech were Girl Scouts growing up.
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