A recent Girl Scout Research Institute study showed that 74% of high school girls are interested in STEM. But few girls pursue careers in these areas, in part because many think they'd have to work harder than men to be taken seriously.
Leaders of the Girl Scouts aim to change this by ramping up the troops' exposure to STEM, both through activities and interactions with women working in these fields.
"Sometimes, access is just knowing about the careers that are available and meeting a young woman who is a role model," said Suzanne Harper, senior director of program resources at Girl Scouts of the USA, the national organization.
The Girl Scouts have infused STEM throughout their badges, which were overhauled last fall ahead of the organization's 100th anniversary this year. The organization has also formed new partnerships with AT&T and the New York Academy of Sciences to connect girls with female engineers, scientists and mathematicians.