Girl Scouts Adds a Cyber Security Badge
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On June 15th, the Girl Scouts of the United States of America (aka the Girls Scouts) announced they are adding an additional eighteen badges in cyber security. The new badges are being offered in partnership with Palo Alto Networks. The badges will be available nationwide to millions of Girls Scouts in all age ranges.
The badges are for Girls Scouts in grades Kindergarten through twelve. The badges for younger Girls Scouts, known as Daisies, include data privacy, cyberbullying and how to protect themselves online. Cyber security badges for older Girls Scouts include coding skills, white hat hacking, and setting up firewalls.
The reasoning behind the new cyber security badges is to introduce new IT career opportunities to scouts. Per information from the Computing Technology Industry Association, 69 percent of US women not involved in IT careers said they did not know what opportunities were available to them. These badges and other STEM badges already offered by the Girl Scouts give young girls an introduction to IT careers that are available after college.
The Girl Scouts have other badges related to STEM careers. Other tech-related badges include Computer Expert, Innovation, and Digital Movie Maker. The Boy Scouts of America have a similar cyber security badge program, Cyber Chip, since 2012.
Girl Scout projects such as Imagine Your STEM Future in conjunction with AT&T and Imagine Engineering with the National Science Foundation also afford girls the chance to experience STEM fields. Motorola, UTC, and Google partner with the Girl Scouts in programs like the FIRST Robotics teams and Journey. Dell Computers is involved in Connect Through Technology offering girls mentors in the fields of robotics and information technology.
The Girl Scouts of the United States of America an organization for girls living in the United States and American girls living abroad. The Girl Scouts currently 1.8 million girl members and 800,000 adult members working primarily as volunteers.
According to their website, “Palo Alto Networks is the next-generation security company maintaining trust in the digital age by helping tens of thousands of organizations worldwide prevent cyber breaches.”