Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Meet Our New STEM Manager: Megan Hunicke Q&A

Our new STEM Manager, Megan Hunicke, is happy to join GSCTX and help our STEM program achieve new levels of innovation. New to Austin and Texas, Megan knows a thing or two about Girl Scouting as she served as her daughter’s troop leader in Boise, Idaho. Now, she’s looking forward to being a resource for girls and troop leaders! Check out our Q&A with her below!

Why is STEM important for girls?
STEM is important for girls because I think girls have not been empowered in the past with STEM opportunities and showing what they can do. Girls not only have technical abilities, but they also have a lot of amazing skills that totally fit into STEM whether it’s problem solving, creativity, or being collaborative with a team.  I think tying that in with STEM is natural and that hasn’t been embraced in the past. I think there still are some stigma about girls in STEM and I want to be part of breaking down the stereotypes. I don’t think girls realize how many parts there are to STEM projects and careers and how many things you can do in STEM.  It also is a growing (and well paid!) career path in our digital world so the more exposure the girls can get the better opportunities they will have in the future.

What is your vision for the STEM program at GSCTX?
I want to be well balanced in the types of programming we provide for girls. I want to integrate STEM as much as possible into any Journeys and what I mean by that is being a resource for leaders if they’d like to incorporate STEM or would like more information about it.

What does the STEM Manager do?
I plan programs that are available for girls and troops. If there are girls or leaders that are interested in STEM but aren’t quite sure how to go about it, I’d like to be a support for them and help them find the resources to get started. I’d like to enhance the “Programs-On-Demand” program that we have because I think it would be cool to have it customized for their needs and it’d be great for the girls because it would be even more of what the girls want. We also have some pretty amazing events like Hackathon, that I will be in charge of overseeing and help putting together. We’re going to make it even better next year.

What do you love about Girl Scouting?
I love how it empowers girls. I think it helps them develop leadership skills in a safe, supportive way. I love watching them grow up and take on more responsibilities and start to take charge of their interests and community service.  There’s so many different factors to Girl Scouts and the whole concept of learning how to care of yourself first and then learning about a bigger sense of community as they grow is so important.

Favorite Girl Scout Cookie?
It’s a tie between Samoas and Thin Mints!

Anything else you’d like to tell our membership?
I’d like them to know that I’m definitely open to any thoughts or ideas on things that they’d like to see and that we’re really trying to reach a lot of different areas in STEM. We’re even considering incorporating different types of sciences like geology and animal sciences. We’re also really looking at ways to enhance the robotics program.

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