Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland and Girls Scouts of the USA announced Friday there are 42 new badges available "that allow (Girl Scouts) to make their own choices about how they want to experience and influence the world," according to a news release from Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland.
"Our new badges inspire girls to think big and discover their potential," Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland CEO Anne Soots said in the news release.
"With our signature event, Project STEM, happening in spring of 2020, we're especially excited about the badges and Leadership Journeys that encourage our girls' exploration in science, technology, engineering and math," Soots added.
The new badge offerings for girls in grades K-12 include 12 Outdoor High Adventure badges, funded by The North Face, that for the first time in Girl Scouts' history feature two distinct activity options that let girls choose how they want to earn each badge.
The outdoor adventure badges include backpacking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, rock climbing and tree climbing.
Eighteen "Coding for Good" badges, funded by AT&T and Dell Technologies, will have girls in grades K-12 "learn about algorithms through age-appropriate, creative activities, such as coding positive memes to spread a message about a cause they care about; designing a digital game to educate people about an issue; and developing an app to promote healthy habits," according to Missouri Heartland's news release.
Girls in sixth through 12th grades can also pursue nine cybersecurity badges and three space science badges.
The cybersecurity badges give girls a chance to "learn about the inner workings of computer technology and cybersecurity, and apply concepts of safety and protection to the technology they use every day. Activities range from decrypting and encrypting messages, to learning proper protection methods for devices, to exploring real-world hacking scenarios (funded by Palo Alto Networks)."
Palo Alto Networks is a cybersecurity company headquartered in Santa Clara, California.
The space science badges let girls "explore topics such as the universe and their place in it, properties of light, and inspiring careers in space science (funded by NASA's Science Mission Directorate and led by the SETI Institute)."
NASA's Science Mission Directorate funds U.S. scientists, invests in technology development and conducts science missions with spacecraft, airplanes, satellites, rockets and balloons, according to its website.
The Mountain View, California-based nonprofit SETI Institute seeks to "explore, understand and explain the origin and nature of life in the universe and the evolution of intelligence," according to its website.
Depending on their level within Girl Scouts, girls working on the space science badges will "investigate properties of visible and invisible light and observe the night sky," "classify stars, study their life cycles and experiment with astronomical imaging" or "dive into a research project, look at worlds beyond Earth and learn about women who work in NASA's Science Mission Directorate," according to a news release from SETI.
"In true girl-led fashion, and to guarantee that only the highest-quality programming made its way to girls, GSUSA led three rounds of national pilot and field testing with current Girl Scouts to ensure the activities are fun, age-appropriate, and achieve the program's learning outcomes," according to SETI's news release.
Girl Scouts in sixth through 12th grades will also be able to pursue the "Think Like a Citizen Scientist" Leadership Journey — funded by Johnson & Johnson and The Coca-Cola Foundation — and a "Cyber Challenge" in select areas this fall, funded by Raytheon, according to Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland's news release.