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.
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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