This President’s Day, we welcomed 100 3rd – 6th grade scouts to Groupon, 85 in our Chicago office and 15 in Palo Alto, with the support of almost 50 employee volunteers from the Engineering and Product teams. Throughout the day, the girls got to work with our technical employees to walk through activities on Code.org, practice the process of iteration in a hands-on bridge building activity, hear from a panel of female employees, and say hello to our friends across the country all while earning their very own “Scout Out Engineering” merit badge.
Chicago volunteer and Software Development Engineer, Shilpa, mentioned, “It’s exciting to see so many young girls here, because I don’t want to be the only girl on the Engineering team. Diversity on our Engineering teams is so important. People solve problems that they can see; and when we have diverse teams, we are more likely to solve a problem from multiple angles and build a better product.”
I could not be more proud of the work that employee volunteers have done to grow this program as we’ve traditionally hosted Scout Out Engineering in October with one event in Chicago – and this year, we have had so much excitement around supporting STEM Education and women in technology that we added a February event to the calendar and expanded programming to the west coast.
In addition to expanding the program, this year, even the grown-ups got in on the fun as we know it’s so important for students to have the opportunity to continue learning outside of the classroom. Girl Scout Moms, Diana and Carmen, hopped on Code.org, and they were hooked. “As Girl Scout parents and troop leaders, this type of program helps our girls to see themselves as the engineers of tomorrow. It gives the girls the opportunity to see different types of STEM careers and meet a number of grown up scouts in the jobs that they could fill in the future. It was fun to hear the girls saying ‘I want to do this when I grow up!’ as they worked with the Groupon volunteers.” both moms stated.
Palo Alto volunteer and fellow Software Development Engineer, Sarah, said, “It’s really cool to see girls have the opportunity to be immersed into this kind of environment at such a young age. Growing up, I didn’t have opportunities to meet people like me, so I’m excited to volunteer and help open the doors for young girls to stay interested in STEM.”
STEM Education is an area that Groupon’s Social Responsibility team has committed to as we work to help people and communities thrive and prosper. Our portfolio of community initiatives is designed to help us achieve greater impact and value for society, our employees and the business. Our hope for STEM Education is for more students in diverse and under-served communities to have access and be inspired to pursue education and careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. We are excited to continue this work with the Girl Scouts and show them how cool technology really is!