WALTHAM, MA— The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center has awarded a $50,000 grant to the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts. The grant will allow for a 10-week module in STEM within the FaB Factor Program, which is an early intervention and prevention program for at-risk, inner-city girls ranging from five to 17 years old.
Consistent with the Center’s emphasis on promoting diversity in the life sciences workforce, the Girls Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts serves 178 communities composed of 41,000 girls ranging in age from five to 18 and over 17,000 adult volunteers. As Girl Scouts celebrate their 100th anniversary, they are more than ever committed to bringing the value of the Girl Scout experience to communities traditionally underrepresented in Girl Scouting.
To address the fact that women are underrepresented in the majority of STEM fields, the Girl Scouts has created the FaB Factor STEM Fractions, Fixtures, Bits and Beakers (F2B2) Program which will serve close to 2,000 girls in eastern Massachusetts. Girls participating in the F2B2 Program will utilize the Get Moving! And Breathe Journey Series to learn about how science, technology, engineering, and math affect everything around them. In addition, girls will have the opportunity to participate in over 25 STEM programs including MathMovesU, Mad Science, Leadership Convention Club, Journey with Science, Hands on Science Career Fair, and short internships at various biotech and biosciences companies in the region.
“When today's girls graduate from college, America will need three million more scientists and engineers. Girl Scouts is fueling this pipeline. Programs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) now account for over half of all Girl Scout programs, as well as introducing girls to inspiring role models in scientific fields,” explains Ruth N. Bramson, CEO, Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts. “Girl Scouts sees STEM as a vital focus and we will continue to build awareness and educate community leaders on the important issue of increasing girls' involvement in STEM. We are grateful for the generous support of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center in these important efforts. This grant will help us to provide STEM programming that captures the imagination of our girls to more girls within our footprint, so we can nurture their interest and educate them about opportunities within this field.”
“I commend the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts for recognizing the importance of STEM education and am pleased that the MLSC is able to generously support their efforts," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray, Chair of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, which leads the Administration's efforts related to education and training opportunities for students in fields related to science, technology, engineering, and math. “The strength of our innovation economy relies on a talented workforce, and increased exposure to STEM education is a key building block for our future.”
According to a report released by the US Commerce Department’s Economics and Statistics Administration the STEM workforce is crucial to America’s innovative capacity and global competitiveness, yet women are vastly underrepresented in STEM-related jobs.
"Women and ethnic minorities generally are underrepresented in the STEM fields and in our life sciences industry,” said Susan Windham Bannister, Ph.D., President & CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center. “Through innovative planning and research, the Girl Scouts organization has created multiple programs that expose young girls from diverse backgrounds to the life sciences field at just the time that their interest in science needs be nurtured and developed. We are pleased to support the Girl Scouts organization of the 21st Century!"
About the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center
The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center is a quasi-public agency of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts tasked with implementing the Massachusetts Life Sciences Act, a ten-year, $1 billion initiative that was signed into law in June of 2008. The Center’s mission is to create jobs in the life sciences and support vital scientific research that will improve the human condition. This work includes making financial investments in public and private institutions that are advancing life sciences research, development and commercialization as well as building ties between sectors of the Massachusetts life sciences community. For more information, visit www.masslifesciences.com.
About Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts
Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts serves more than 40,000 girls ages 5-17 and 17,000 adult volunteers in 178 communities across Eastern Massachusetts with the mission to build girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. The Girl Scouts provide
girls with the opportunity to DISCOVER their world, CONNECT with and build an understanding for others and TAKE ACTION to make the world a better place. Girls are guided by committed and caring adults who make learning fun. Girl Scouting helps each girl achieve her personal leadership pathway to the future. The Girl Scouts organization has a rich history and has been the nation’s leading expert on girls for nearly 100 years. For more information, please visit