Mowery’s relationship with the Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania (GSHPA) began in 2017 when the organization contracted Mowery to assist with the planning, design and reconstruction of Camp Small Valley. Since then, the organizations continue to partner on education opportunities and other facility improvements. Over the years, Mowery has been honored to be a part of building and expanding GSHPA’s outdoor venue. These new spaces allow the organization the ability to fulfill their mission of “building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place”.
With two million members nationally and over 50 million alums since the inception of the program, founded by Juliette Gordon Low in 1912, the Girl Scouts both nationally and locally, continues to make an impact on the community. Recently, GSHPA has emphasized development on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, math) industries, which is one reason Mowery wanted to get involved in the organization’s initiatives by creating workshops for GSHPA’s STEAM Mobile program.
In the last 10 years, there has been an increasing number of Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related jobs – nearly 2 million in fact. In the construction industry alone, 79 percent of the 650,000+ construction employers in the US planned to hire in 2019. However, three-quarters of those employers were concerned about finding qualified applicants.
Additionally, the percentage of women in the construction industry is less than ten percent. Mowery values programs, like the GSHPA’s STEAM Mobile, that provide further opportunity for girls to gain knowledge about the industry and potentially choose a career when they are older. This program addresses the challenge of a shortage of individuals with the skills to fit the available jobs in the construction industry. Skills in technology, mathematics, and collaboration are all imperative on a job site.
STEAM MOBILE PROGRAM
The fleet of four STEAM Mobile Units are available to Girl Scout troops in 30 counties throughout central and northeast Pennsylvania. Troop leaders can choose from 18 different hands-on programs covering topics of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. Workshops include interpreting art and building robots as well as topics about why bees are integral in agriculture, meteorology, and so much more. These workshops give girls of all ages an opportunity to interact with different industries to build courage, confidence and interest in STEAM in preparation to become the next generation of leaders.
Mowery helped to develop curriculum for two STEAM Mobile workshops that expose Girl Scouts to the construction industry from all angles including hands-on building, mathematics, and technology. Both workshops include a section where girls explore eight different career paths within the construction industry including:
- Using a game-like approach with Legos, the Master Builder workshop exposes Girl Scouts to the process of estimating the cost of building a home and maintaining a budget throughout its construction.
- In the Engineering Explorers workshop, Girl Scouts learn about Building Information Modeling (BIM) and have the opportunity to build their own 3D model of a house with working electricity.
Implementation of STEM learning opportunities throughout public and private schools, as well as programs like GSHPA’s STEAM Mobile, has increased interest and enrollment in science related fields. In fact, studies show 3 in 4 grads majored in STEM related fields in 2018. Recently, the national Girl Scouts organization boldly created the STEM Pledge, a multiyear initiative to put 2.5 million girls through their hands-on STEM programs by 2025.
Mowery is grateful to be part of GSHPA’s STEAM Mobile program. The solid foundation provides girls the opportunity to succeed in their future careers and helps the organization meet the national STEM Pledge goal.
“Mowery is thrilled to work with Girl Scouts in the Heart of PA not only on improving their facilities but expanding possibilities for the girls themselves,” shared Bill Sutton, Mowery’s Vice President – Customer Experience, “We collaborated with their administrators to develop educational workshops and programs around construction and 3D printing. We really enjoyed showing the girls that construction is fun and can be a great potential career path. We’d love to see more young people getting excited about STEM and construction fields.”