Girl Guides and Brownies to earn new badges in engineering

The Irish Girl Guides and Engineers Ireland have teamed up to develop a new education initiative that allows Guides and Brownies to earn engineering badges for the first time.

Two new engineering badges will be introduced to the Irish Girl Guides Journey Programme - one for Brownies (aged 7 to 10) and one for Guides (aged 10 to 14).

The new badges, launched ahead of this year’s Engineers Week, which runs from Saturday, February 24 to Friday, March 2, will encourage young girls around Ireland to work through a variety of fun engineering challenges based on creative thinking, curiosity and team-work.

It also hopes to build an engineering mindset and to encourage girls to explore the exciting possibilities a career in engineering can offer.

The Engineers Ireland STEPS team, which developed the syllabus, is to provide hands-on training to over 150 leaders at the Irish Girl Guides Annual Conference in Athlone, this Saturday.

Together, they will undertake training in integrating STEM activities in their weekly meetings with their teams. The workshops will help participants to understand what it means to be an engineer and how to guide their girls on how to earn the new engineering badges.

Director General of Engineers Ireland, Caroline Spillane, said: “Engineering is about working collaboratively, being creative, and finding new ways to solve problems and the Irish Girl Guides is a dynamic and community-focused organisation which very much shares these values.

"We are delighted to have collaborated on this initiative to inspire young girls to think positively about engineering and to build awareness of the immense possibilities a career in engineering can offer.”

Chief commissioner of the Irish Girl Guides, Helen Concannon, said: “As one of the largest girl-only organisations in Ireland, we are delighted to partner with Engineers Ireland and harness our enthusiasm and their expertise to provide more opportunities for girls to engage with engineering concepts.

“Girl Guides is a movement that always strives to move with the times and remain relevant to young people while challenging stereotypes.

“We believe in our girls' capabilities and want them to develop their skills in STEM so this partnership is an ideal one for us. If we want to solve the world’s challenges, we must ensure that both boys and girls can aspire to become engineers.”

- Digital desk

Most Read in Ireland