The first email I received after publishing my piece about Trading Tech 300 was from a concerned female reader inquiring about what I was going to do for girls. A lot, I told her.
Anyone who knows me knows how strongly I feel about women deserving an equal opportunity in our society.
First, let me say that the Boy Scouts of America includes girls. We don’t make a big deal out of it, mostly to avoid annoying our friends in the Girl Scouts, but the BSA has girls.
There are girls in the Venturers, a BSA program for boys and girls above the age of 14 and below 21. Secondly, in the Learning for Life Division of the BSA, there are girls and young women in the Explorer programs. Explorers are normally career-oriented units interested in police work or firefighting, but there are others.
One of the others is a program with Abbott Labs that has run for many years. They sponsor several Explorer Units. A video from 2012 offers highlights and benefits from the program, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dA7TusuiPpw.
This program offers a great example of industry and the Boy Scouts, which includes girls, partnering to offer young people help in developing interests that can help them in college or lead them to careers. It also gives Abbott an opportunity to identify talented participants and offer them internships and eventually perhaps full-time employment.
Lastly, there is a new Boy Scouts of America program coming called STEM Scouts. This program includes boys and girls from kindergarten to the 12th grade. The scouts are all registered as Venturers and the adults under the Learning for Life program.
The STEM Scouts program, http://www.stemscouts.org, is in alpha development in Knoxville, TN. The Chicago Area Council of BSA wants to offer this program in 2015. The word is the program will be on the agenda at the May annual meeting of the Boy Scouts to be approved as a permanent part of the program.
I think the STEM Scout program has great potential on its own and could be a terrific addition as a curriculum at a potential World’s Fair STEM Complex in Chicago, should the stars align and the river doesn’t rise.
I want to build a complex in Chicago to be a world class attraction of people, men and women, boys and girls, from all over the world. I don’t want Chicago to be the STEM capital of the world for men and boys, I want Chicago to be the STEM Capital of the World, period.