Girls are being inspired to pursue future careers in technology and engineering, thanks to a new initiative set up by Girlguiding and Google.
The two organisations have teamed up to create a challenge for Brownies to complete, named ‘Google’s Digital Adventure’. The challenge, available to 200,000 girls aged seven to 10 years old, will provide the opportunity for girls to develop new skills and an understanding of technology through offline tasks like creating “algorithms” - the instructions that make computer programmes work- using storyboards, and making robots that can solve common problems.
Every girl completing the challenge will be rewarded with a special ‘Google’ badge. The introduction of the badge comes after Girlguiding’s Girls’ Attitudes Survey 2017 found 30% of girls aged 11-16 think ICT/computing is more for boys and only 37% would consider doing a job in technology.
“We hope this partnership will help to break down the gender stereotypes often preventing girls from entering STEM careers and show that technology is for everyone, regardless of gender or age,” said Girlguiding advocate, Alice Pinney, 18.
Google engineer Nicole McWilliams, who is leading on the collaboration with Girlguiding, said: “There is a magical moment when you make something using code and share it with the world. We think everyone should have the courage and the opportunity to give it a go and that’s why we’re partnering with Girlguiding to inspire girls to become future programmers or engineers.”
All the activities have been designed to help girls develop skills for a digital future, without needing a computer to complete them to ensure the challenge is accessible to all Brownies.
Talking about the new badge, Brownie Antonia, seven, said: “The activities are really fun, I learned how to direct a robot. I think other Brownies will really enjoy it.” And Matilda, nine, said: “A Google badge is really cool, I’m super excited to make a robot and get the badge.”
The partnership will also see Google provide expertise in the development of a new Digital Design badge for the Rangers section (14-18 year olds) as part of the charity’s new programme of badges and activities launching this summer.
Girlguiding’s new revolutionised programme, due to be revealed in the summer, will see the biggest ever overhaul of what girls do in Girlguiding. The new Girlguiding badges and activities will be organised around six themes, Skills for my Future, Have Adventures, Be Well, Know Myself, Express Myself and Take Action, expanding girls’ choices and equipping them with more skills and knowledge they can utilise now and in the future.