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Girl Scouts interested in STEM reach for the stars at High Rock Tower Observatory

Girls K-5 with an interest in STEM will be observing stars through telescopes at High Rock Tower and Observatory, as part of the "Reaching for the Stars: NASA Science for Girl Scouts" initiative. (Courtesy Photo)

LYNN — Girl Scouts with an interest in STEM education or careers will be given a chance to reach for the stars on Friday night at High Rock Tower and Observatory.

Current Girl Scouts or those aspiring to join in grades K-5 are invited to a Star Party at High Rock Tower from 8 to 10 p.m.

They will look at the stars through the large telescopes on the roof in the Observatory, make their own constellation, take a tour and learn from an astronomer, according to Kerrie Constant, senior director of program for Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts.

“Girls will be exploring the night sky and forming a deeper appreciation for astronomy,” Constant said.

Constant said the event is through a partnership with the Girl Scouts of the USA, NASA Science Mission Directorate and the SETI Institute.

Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts was one of 11 Girl Scout Councils nationwide — there are 113 councils — chosen to take part in the “Reaching for the Stars: NASA Science for Girl Scouts” initiative, which is in the pilot phase and is meant to engage girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) learning and expose them to careers in the field, Constant said.

Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts has girls from grades K-12 piloting the activities for the new space science badges that are going to be launched. The Reaching for the Stars program launched in January for the pilot and the new space science badges will be available to girls in grades K-5 in the fall and 6-12 next spring.

Constant said one of the goals for the Star Party, which is a criterion of the Reaching for the Stars program, is to attract girls to join the Girl Scouts. Girls can come from all over — typically, similar events draw girls within a 25-mile radius.

She said the Star Party is open to girls who like STEM and they can see it’s a great time to be a Girl Scout because of what the organization has to offer in that area. She said the organization has always had a focus in STEM, but that has augmented and increased in the last five years.

“The end goal for girls overall is to expand girls’ interest in STEM and show that activities in STEM can be fun and (open) future career aspirations,” Constant said. “We really want to kind of draw that interest for girls to just experience a taste of what Girl Scouts can offer for girls who have that STEM interest.”

Girls can register for the event here.

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