“Girl Scouts are excited to learn from FBI agents—who are both experts in the field and use STEM to make a difference every day,” said Suzanne Harper, senior director of National Programs and Partnerships for Girl Scouts of the USA. “We are truly excited to formally expand this powerful partnership between our organizations and for Girl Scouts across the country to explore STEM careers and cybersecurity through badge activities led by FBI field agents in their communities.”
Under the new collaboration, community outreach specialists in the FBI’s 56 field offices will work with local Girl Scouts councils to offer speakers and presentations on subjects within Girl Scouts’ current cybersecurity programming, where Girl Scouts can earn badges based on their grade level (K-12).
FBI biologist Tiffany Thoren said it was outreach like that that exposed her years ago to the possibilities of blending her love of science with criminal justice. She grew up being an active Girl Scout in rural Central Kansas and got her first microscope when she was 6 or 7. But there wasn’t much visibility about careers until she was in 6th grade and got a tour of a police lab.
“From that point forward, I knew that’s what I wanted to do,” said Thoren, who works with forensic labs that participate in the FBI’s national DNA database through the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), a program that is used to share DNA profiles across U.S., as well as federal law enforcement agencies and the Department of Defense. “That one moment in time changed my life, because that gave me exactly the focus of what I wanted to do for a career.”
She said events like the STEM festival—with attendees from across the country—might provide a welcome spark for someone else like her. “I want them to see there’s a place for them in the Bureau no matter what their interests are,” Thoren said.