The Girl Scout Space badges are coming! For the younger girls, the new space badge requirements are less than two weeks from being announced. Older girl badges are still a year away from being announced, but that doesn’t mean your can’t introduce your Cadettes or Seniors to astronomy.
Here are some amazing resources to teach your scouts about space:
Civil Air Patrol Educators Program
I learned about the Civil Air Patrol Educators Program earlier this year at the aviation badge event we attended with our Girl Scout troop. For a $35 membership fee, Girl Scout and Boy Scout leaders can apply for an education membership – which opens the door to some amazing STEM kits at no additional charge.
Our Girl Scout troop recently received our first kit – packed with lots of space and astronomy projects, including building your own telescope. We also got a new beginner’s telescope and lens kit for free! The kids loved using the telescope during our Girl Scout family camp weekend over Memorial Day, and I’m sure the telescope will be coming out with us many, many times in the future!
If you haven’t searched for a local observatory, please do so. Many universities do offer public viewing and educational programs at their observatories at a very low cost, sometimes free or under $5 per person.
We are blessed to have amazing monthly programming at a local public library and partnering with the Link Observatory, which also has phenomenal educational videos on its Facebook page. For this group, space exploration is truly a labor of love.
Your local astronomy club also may have public viewing nights, either alone or in partnership with local parks. It’s worth exploring.
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What are the New Space Badges?
Space badges are being released for younger Girl Scouts in summer 2018. Early descriptions of the badges:
Space Science Explorer Badge (Daisy Space Badge)
Space scientists are people who study outer space–what’s in the sky. Just like a space scientist, girls will explore and observe the Sun, Moon and stars as they look at the sky and talk about what they see!
- Explore the Sun
- Observe the Moon
- Meet the Stars
Space Science Adventurer Badge (Brownie Space Badge)
Whether girls have searched for shooting stars or found shapes in the clouds, they’ve probably already spent some time looking at the sky. Now is their chance to see the sky in a new way–like a space scientist does! In this badge, they will investigate and learn about the Sun, Moon, planets and stars.
- Meet the neighbors
- See more than before
- Investigate the Moon
- Be a stargazer
- Celebrate and share
Space Science Investigator Badge (Junior Space Badge)
Our Solar System is spread out across space and is much larger than one might think. Venture through the Solar System and beyond, and see that space is even bigger than girls can imagine. Once they’ve earned this badge, they will understand how far the Earth travels in one year, and how far away the Sun, Moon, planets, and stars are from our home planet, Earth.
- Model the Solar System
- Circle the Sun
- Discover the stars
- Use tools to explore
- Share your sky
Patch Programs & Retired Badges
Finding the Space Exploration Interest Project Award is a true labor of love – I’ve yet to find enough badges for my entire troop – and younger scout badges focusing on space are tough to find in the trading groups, too. Some councils have offered space exploration patch programs. It is unclear whether they are still available for purchase, however, you can get a sense of age-appropriate activities here:
- JPL/NASA Patch Program
- Out of this World Monthly Patch Program (Feb. 2018)
- Starry Nights Patch
- Columbia Memorial Space Center Patch Program
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