Destinations for Girls in Summer of 2017—Apply Now!

Thw SETI Institute’s STEM Opportunities for Girls:  Girl Scout Destinations are the ultimate adventure for individual girls ages 11 and older! Girls make friends from all over the country as they travel with Girl Scouts from different states and pack their bags full of inspiring, life-changing experiences. Current Girl Scouts or any interested girl can contact her local Girl Scout Council to apply. There are 3 Destinations for the total solar eclipse in 2017, plus astronomy camp at the University of Arizona.  These Destinations are partially supported by the SETI Institute’s project, “Reaching for the Stars: NASA Science for Girl Scouts”, funded by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.

Destination—Astronomy Camp: Under uniquely dark skies, teenage Girl Scouts will explore “the heavens” both day and night, by naked-eye and with telescopes, to experience the excitement of scientific inquiry. Participants will become real astronomers, operating telescopes (small and large) and associated technologies, interacting with scientists, obtaining images and quantitative data, investigating their own questions and curiosities, and, most importantly, having fun actually doing science and building observing equipment. They will achieve a basic understanding of celestial objects, how and why they move, and their associated historical significance, leading to an authentic understanding of science, research, and engineering. June 30 – July 4, 2017. 

Destination—Total Eclipse of the Heartland: Girls will be in the center of the action as North America experiences a rare total solar eclipse. In Carbondale, Illinois, we are at the point of highest duration for totality and we have some amazing plans to celebrate! In the days before the actual eclipse, we will be exploring St. Louis space attractions like the Science Center, Planetarium, Challenger Learning Center, and the Zoo. On Sunday, we will have some fun camp activities and work on the requirements from the Breathe, Sow What, and Bliss Journeys. We will also earn the Girl Scouts Get to Know Nuclear patch. On Monday, we will grab breakfast and trek to Southern Illinois University Carbondale, where NASA will livestream the eclipse and the university will have a huge STEM expo, full of hands-on activities, sun-spotting, demonstrations and activities from Chicago’s Adler Planetarium, and more. At the start of the eclipse, we will have a special viewing area to experience the excitement of totality! August 18-21, 2017. 

Deatination—The Great Eclipse Adventure: America is experiencing something big and you can be a part of it! August 21, 2017 brings the Great American Eclipse – a total solar eclipse of the sun, the first visible in the U.S. in 26 years! Columbia, Missouri is in the path of totality and we are inviting you to come learn about and experience this amazing event.

Spend two days with female professors and students from the University of Missouri’s astronomy, physics, and engineering departments doing hands-on activities. This all leads up to the big day – the solar eclipse as the moon completely blocks the sun; daytime turns to night and you can see the sun’s atmosphere shimmer in the darkened sky. Other highlights include a nighttime sky tour, viewing the sun through a solar telescope, a pool party, and a campfire with s’mores for you and your 50 new Girl Scout friends. If you have a love of science and astronomy, or just want to be part of an unforgettable moment on planet Earth, you won’t want to miss this Destination! Scout camp! August 19-21, 2017.

Deatination—Eyes to the Sky: A Once in a Lifetime Destination:
You will arrive at Camp WaBak, South Carolina, and we will enjoy a solar eclipse-themed picnic lunch before working with SC Engineers and A.K.A. Rocket Scientists, to learn about the physics of rockets and basic rocketry. Then work in teams to construct rockets and launch them! Following lift off, we will travel to Roper Mountain Science Center and have the opportunity to visit the Planetarium and the Daniel Observatory. On Sunday, we will travel to the Challenger Learning Center where you will experience life as an astronaut. You will test your problem-solving skills as you engage deeper in robotics, rocketry, and aviation while preparing for you first mission. You will fly a full Space Mission and fly places through the flight simulators!

Following your Space Mission, we will travel to The South Carolina State Museum and Planetarium where you will use the resources to start preparing for the big eclipse. Our group will participate in four activities, including a special full dome digital planetarium show that focuses the types, history, and mythology of eclipses, and the exact forces that align to cause a total solar eclipse. You also will receive a guided tour of the Robert B. Ariail Collection of Historical Astronomy, which is comprised of one of the finest groups of early American telescopes in the world. Make your own pinhole eclipse viewer, and explore features of the Sun in the museum’s Boeing Observatory. While in the observatory, you will use special filtered telescopes to discover features of the sun!

Day three will focus 100% on preparing for and learning about the 2017 Great American Solar Eclipse. Teams will build model Solar Eclipses and present these projects to the rest of the group by demonstrating the science behind the phenomenon. Groups will also explore how plant and animal life react to changes that occur during total solar eclipses. Just before lunch, we will pack up and start a short hike to the “Solar Eclipse” field. Here, we will set up camp, and prepare to view the solar eclipse in the path of totality! On your last night at camp, you will be presented with your own telescope and work with local Astronomers to learn how to use them as you roll out your sleeping bag and spend your last night of your Destination under the stars.  August 19-22, 2017.

To see all 52 Destinations offered by the Girl Scouts of the USA, go to:

For more information on “Reaching for the Stars: NASA Science for Girl Scouts” please contact Edna DeVore, Director of Education, SETI Institute.