World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) and the Johnson & Johnson Foundation have partnered together to create WAGGGS first STEM programme.
In 2022 WAGGGS delivered a global STEM consultation to better understand what girls and young women from across the guiding movement felt about STEM. We asked them what they enjoyed about STEM, what they wanted to learn more about, what they felt the challenges and barriers were to engaging in STEM education and careers and finally what could WAGGGS offer on STEM.
Out of our 152 Membership Organisations (countries that deliver girl guiding), an impressive 109 got involved in a STEM survey. Plus we had over 8,000 girls and young women taking part in a Girl Led STEM activity pack at unit level, and the resounding message was clear – we want to learn more and advocate on better access to STEM!
So in February and March 2023, the Johnson & Johnson Foundation supported WAGGGS to host its first ever webinar series on STEM; featuring fun STEM related activities and hearing from inspirational women who have successfully forged a career in STEM fields. Speakers like a Global Medical and Scientific Affairs Lead from Johnson & Johnson and a Girl Guide Advocacy Champion who is now a Food Scientist. Both spoke about their careers but also some of the barriers and challenges they faced, plus what they felt needed to change to give more girls and young women the opportunity to pave the way in STEM. We reached a staggering 6,000 young people and received great feedback.
As a result of this success, the Johnson & Johnson Foundation and WAGGGS have now launched WAGGGS first ever STEM programme at Sangam, our World Centre in Pune, India. Three young women will take part in a three-month STEM Volunteer Leadership Placement at Sangam. Using their creativity and passion for STEM they will co-create with the support of WAGGGS and representatives from Johnson & Johnson’s WiSTEM2D Youth pillar, Sangam's first STEM Discovery Day programme for visiting Girl Guides and Girl Scouts and local community partners in Pune.
Watch this space for more updates and stories!