The SETI Institute and Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) have come together to celebrate the release of new Girl Scout Space Science badges during the launch of NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, the first-ever mission to “touch” the Sun.
GSUSA recently announced its release of 30 new badges for girls ages 5–18 focused on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); the outdoors; and life skills. Among the new badges are Space Science badges for Girl Scout Daisies (Grades K-1), Brownies (Grades 2-3), and Juniors (Grade 4-5). Space Science badges for Cadettes (Grades 6-8), Seniors (Grades 9-10), and Ambassadors (Grades 11-12) will be released next year.
Funded by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate and led by the SETI Institute, each badge was developed by GSUSA in collaboration with the SETI Institute’s subject matter expert partners from the University of Arizona, ARIES Scientific, and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, as well as Girl Scouts of Northern California. To guarantee that only the highest-quality content made its way to girls, GSUSA led three rounds of national pilot and field testing to ensure the activities are fun, age-appropriate, and achieve the program’s learning outcomes.
Daisies who earn the Space Science Explorer badge observe the Sun, Moon and sky. Brownies who pursue the Space Science Adventurer badge dig into the Solar System, Moon phases, constellations, and share their findings. And Juniors who tackle the Space Science Investigator badge explore the planets, celestial motion, the three-dimensional nature of a constellation and develop models that explain the size and scale of our Solar System.
The Space Science badge development is part of the SETI Institute’s and GSUSA’s broader “Reaching for the Stars: NASA Science for Girl Scouts” program. Other program features include train-the-trainer workshops for girls and volunteers, including the Astronomy Camp for Leaders at the University of Arizona; the Girl Scout Astronomy Club training at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center for girls, volunteers, and amateur astronomers; and, most recently, Girl Scouts’ Astronomy Adventure Destination at the University of Oregon’s Pine Mountain Observatory, where campers learned how to operate telescopes, participated in solar and dark-sky observations, and other space science activities.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.