Starting in the fall of 2018, the Girl Scouts of USA will launch a new set of badges focused on cybersecurity.
“We’re not just going to be selling cookies, we are going to become cybersecurity experts,” said Sylvia Acevedo, chief executive officer of the Girl Scouts of the USA, in a statement for ABC News.
According to CNNMoney, curriculum for the new badges will be written with the help of Palo Alto Network, a cybersecurity firm, and will provide different opportunities for girls of varying ages from kindergarten to 12th grade. Eighteen new badges will be created.
Younger girls will have the opportunity to learn skills pertaining to cyberbullying and protecting one’s identity online, while older members can learn more advanced skills such as programming and ethical hacking.
Acevedo also told CNNMoney that the organization is moving in this direction because of survey feedback they gathered from some of their 1.8 million members. The girls expressed interest in stronger technological education, particularly cybersecurity. Implementing this education could encourage more girls to consider a career in technology and help close the gender gap.
“From arming our older girls with the tools to address this reality to helping younger girls protect their identities via internet safety, the launch of our national cybersecurity badge initiative represents our advocacy of cyber preparedness,” said Acevedo in a statement for CBS San Francisco.