Science-minded girls from the Atlanta area packed the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds this past Saturday, marking Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta’s return to large in-person events.

More than 500 Girl Scouts turned out for a full day of hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) activities and career explorations.

From law enforcement to public health, space to animal sciences, girls had opportunities to sample numerous career tracks.

At the FBI’s Mobile Command Center, girls dusted for fingerprints with the Evidence Response Team. Other Girl Scouts dove into coding robots with Robotics Explorers or performed simulated disease contact tracing with Centers for Disease Control.

“Girl Scouts prepares you for the future for when you get to the real world,” said Girl Scout Temple Lester. “(It) teaches you a lot about leadership and how to get along with people.”

Lester is already on her way in her STEM career. The young entrepreneur advocates for girls and minorities to gain exposure to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics related fields through her organization, STEM Girl Swag.

“Georgia’s STEM economy is hungry for talent," said Amy Dosik, CEO of Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta. “To ensure Georgia remains competitive, our state needs a diverse STEM workforce pipeline. Today, women hold only 25% of STEM jobs, and in growing fields like cybersecurity and AI, it's even lower. Girl Scouts' STEM Expo is designed to get girls excited about growing career fields and connect them to role models so they can see what they can be.

“We have a large and active membership in Gwinnett County. The proximity to Georgia’s High-Tech I-85 Corridor makes this an ideal location to prepare girls for a STEM future.”

Those with an interest in space or careers with NASA had keynote speaker, Jan Davis PhD available to answer questions and share her experiences in a field largely held by men.

Davis, a former NASA astronaut, Georgia Tech graduate, and Girl Scout has been on three space shuttle flights, logging hundreds of space hours. This year marks the 30th anniversary aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour where a photograph caught her floating along in zero gravity with her Girl Scout cookies. Trefoils, in case you’re wondering.

Those interested in their daughters joining the Girl Scout leadership program can contact the organization through their website, GirlScoutsAtl.org. Financial assistance is available.

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