Girl Scouts add 42 badges for outdoor adventures, computer coding | TribLIVE.com
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Girl Scouts add 42 badges for outdoor adventures, computer coding

Megan Tomasic
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Tribune-Review
Girl Scouts can now earn 42 new badges focused on outdoor adventures and computer coding.

New badges could soon decorate Girl Scouts vests — 42 to be exact.

The badges, which center around outdoor adventures and computer coding, are a way to enhance the organization’s program while offering independent decision making scenarios to help build confidence in leadership abilities in girls in kindergarten through 12th grade, according to the Girl Scouts of the USA and Girl Scouts of Western Pennsylvania.

Making Girl Scouts history, the Outdoor High Adventure badges allow girls to choose from two activity options, allowing them to decide how they want to earn each badge. The 12 Outdoor High Adventure badges, funded by The North Face, give girls the opportunity to backpack, snowshoe, cross-country ski, rock and tree climb.

The 18 coding badges, funded by AT&T and Dell Technologies, will teach girls the basics of computer coding as well as detailing how every stage of the coding process is an opportunity to use their skills for good.

Based on age-appropriate, creative activities, girls will learn about algorithms, code positive memes, design a digital game to educate people about an issue and develop an app to promote healthy habits.

Girls in grades six through 12 will also have the opportunity to earn nine cybersecurity badges and three space science badges.

To earn the cybersecurity badges, funded by Palo Alto Networks, girls will learn about the inner workings of computer technology and cybersecurity. They will apply those concepts to technologies they use every day through activities like decrypting and encrypting messages, learning proper protection methods for devices and exploring real-world hacking scenarios.

For the space science badges, funded by NASA’s Mission Directorate, girls will learn about the universe and their place in it, the properties of light and careers in space science.

Girls will also have to opportunity to participate in the Think Like a Citizen Scientist as part of the Girl Scout Leadership Journey. Girls interested will participate in interactive activities to practice observation techniques, collect data and share their findings with real-world scientists.

“These new badges represent Girl Scouts’ ability to continually provide girls in Western Pennsylvania with experiences that help girls build the skills they need to be leaders in today’s modern workforce,” Patricia A. Burkart, CEO of Girl Scouts of Western Pennsylvania, said in a statement. “This programming also excites and energizes girls and fuels their passion for trying new things.”

Girl Scouts of the USA in 2018 introduced 30 new badges aimed at cybersecurity, environmental advocacy, mechanical engineering, robotics, computer science, and space exploration.

In 2017, the organization unveiled 23 new badges related to outdoor and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities.

Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania serves more than 20,000 girls across 27 counties, including Allegheny and Westmoreland.

Megan Tomasic is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 724-850-1203, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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