Cyber, STEM has a future with Girl Scouts


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Young girls and women considering a future career or a career change might want to take a look at cyber security and STEM fields.

Many may have thought of Girl Scouts as a place where young girls learn leadership and life skill. But the century old organization known for its sweet treats will soon be offering badges in cyber security and STEM. Girls in the CSRA can tap into Augusta University’s programs.

“We can applaud the Girl Scouts for jumping in there and doing that,” said Karen Ribble,Assistant Director of Operations at AU’s Cyber Institute.

The junior business leaders skilled at telling you which cookie is best for you can now prepare to keep you safe in the Cyber world.

“What I think is really impressive is that they’ve recruited Palo Alto Networks to help them develop those badges.”

Ribble told us she was a Girl Scout leader for a decade, so news of the organization training young girls for the field she teaches was excellent and on the right track for where the school is going.

She added, “I do think Augusta University is on the path of helping to recruit and introduce girls to cyber security and the sciences and such.”

Girl Scouts can now earn STEM badges in Engineering areas such as robotics where they design their own robot and mechanical engineering by building race cars. Cyber security badges come out next year.

Ribble shared news about a national program at AU called Girls Who Code that introduces the technology to them.

“The cyber security field is technical in the way of computer science or IT, Information Technology. A lot of that is if they’re interested in puzzles, if you’re interested in problem solving, if they’re good in math there are certain skills that apply to that area,” she explained.

Ribble said AU is higher than the national average of attracting women in the technology program.  So, it’s a place that could be the future home of those Girl Scouts who are now learning and completing hands-on activities for tech badges. And once the degree is in hand, Ribble added there’s zero unemployment.

“There basically are more jobs out there than there are skilled individuals to fill those jobs,” she said. “When we think about everything that is connected to the Internet, to technology and to computers, that field is growing, but I think there are probably a lot of individuals who don’t know that it is something you can do.”

So you might be wondering how soon is too soon to introduce cyber security to my daughter. Ribble told us if they are using an Internet connected device the time is now.

Girl Scouts introduced 23 new STEM and Outdoor badges this week. It’s the largest programming roll out in almost a decade.

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