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Tech innovator and Girl Scouts partner to show girls futures in STEM

Taylor McLeod, Director of Education and Workforce Development Projects and Outreach for BioFabUSA, holds up a decellularized kidney in a plastic bag during a virtual program for Girl Scout Brownies. The girls were learning what it means to take a real organ down to its basic framework in order to grow healthy new organs. Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains has created a special patch program in cooperation with BioFabUSA in Manchester.

BEDFORD, NH – The creation of living tissues and organs may be far from the typical activity people envision Girl Scouts participating in, but that’s just what some Girl Scouts are learning about through a partnership with ARMI | BioFabUSA in Manchester.

“The purpose of the patch is to introduce girls to what biofabrication is and learn about career opportunities in that field,” said Ceara Hunt, director of Girl Experience for Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains, the council serving Girl Scouts throughout New Hampshire and Vermont.

The Biofab patch program is offered virtually at each level of Girl Scouting from Daisy (kindergarten and first grade) through Ambassador (grades 11 and 12) on a rotating basis. The curriculum is currently being offered through the council’s website and via live virtual opportunities for girls to participate together online to earn the patch and will continue through the summer.

Through the patch program, girls learn how they can run their own experiments, how scientists are pushing boundaries to fabricate human organs in order to save lives, and are using automation to perfect the process and learn all about ARMI | BioFabUSA.

BioFabUSA is a program of the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI), a nonprofit organization founded by local inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen, who is well known for the Segway human transporter and FIRST Robotics. 

STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) is one of the four pillars of the Girl Scout Experience, along with the outdoors, life skills, and entrepreneurship. Research shows that girls are keenly interested in STEM and excel at it. Yet, for a variety of reasons, girls often don’t pursue STEM–starting as early as elementary school. With programs like this one, girls can see that they can help make the world a better place! Girl Scouts who participate in girl-focused STEM programs:

• Become better problem-solvers, critical thinkers, and inspirational leaders.

• Get better grades, earn scholarships, and follow more lucrative career paths.

• See STEM as the foundation for a meaningful and successful future.

The patch program will also be offered through several community partner programs in Manchester, Concord, and Nashua this summer. It is offered free of charge thanks to a generous grant provided by BioFabUSA.

To find out more about this opportunity, see http://bit.ly/GSBiofab call the council at 888-474-9686, or email customercare@girlscoutsgwm.org.

About Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains: 

Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains is recognized throughout New Hampshire and Vermont as a leading expert on girls. Our Girl Scout Leadership Experience is a one-of-a-kind leadership development program for girls, with proven results. It is based on time-tested methods and research-backed programming that helps girls take the lead–in their own lives and in the world. Through our exciting and challenging programs, Girl Scouts not only participate but also take the lead in a range of activities–from kayaking, archery, and camping, to coding, robotics, financial literacy training, and beyond! Serving girls throughout New Hampshire and Vermont, girls discover the fun, friendship, and power of girls together. Visit www.girlscoutsgwm.org.

About ARMI/BioFabUSA

The Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI), headquartered in Manchester, NH, is an organization funded by the United States Department of Defense. ARMI’s mission is to make practical the large-scale manufacturing of engineered tissues and tissue-related technologies, to benefit existing industries and grow new ones. ARMI brings together a consortium of over 170 partners from across industry, government, academia, and the non-profit sector to develop next-generation manufacturing processes and technologies for cells, tissues, and organs. 

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