Girl Scouts Earth Science Patch
JPL Earth Public Engagement has worked with the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles (GSGLA) Council to develop a set of Earth science-related activities for scouts to complete to earn the NASA/JPL/GSGLA Earth Science Patch. This activity focuses on teaching girls that understanding Earth from the viewpoint of space helps us understand and connect to our changing world. Our objective is to inspire the girls to take care of and appreciate their home planet.
The program is unique in that it connects all NASA/JPL Earth Science missions with the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles. The primary audiences are Junior Scouts (grades 4-5) and Cadette Scouts (grades 6-8), although scouts of all ages can participate. Many come from underserved areas of Southern California.
JPL offers the Girl Scouts the opportunity to do an evening program at JPL to earn their Earth science patch approximately 3-4 times a year; girls attend with their parents.
Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
Our partner is the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles, which serves more than 350 communities in Los Angeles County and parts of Kern, San Bernardino and Ventura counties. Through the program, the girls learn to discover themselves, connect with others, and take action to make the world a better place. The patch teaches the girls that the Earth is a system.
JPL/NASA has developed all content, and the content was approved by the Council. The Council provides all materials and handles the registration and confirmation that patches have been earned. The Council also handles the informal evaluation.
The Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles reported that 500 Earth Science Patches were earned in 2012.
Effectiveness and Impact
The evaluation plan is very informal and is performed by the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles. Participants respond to questions including: how did you hear about the program, activity you enjoyed the most, what you learned that you didn't know before, and what would you like to learn more about?
JPL offers the Girl Scouts the opportunity to do this program 3-4 times a year at JPL. Girls attend with their parents, and all tell us how much they learned that they didn't know before. All of the girls are required to go home and perform at least one "take action" requirement, depending upon their level in Girl Scouts. Girls can also do this patch on their own as they can with any Girl Scout patch or badge.
The Girl Scouts do not perform impact evaluations, however they have received numerous comments from girls and their families saying how much they learned about Earth and have done more to take care of the planet. Some have made efforts to conserve water, ride their bikes, organize bike clubs, etc.