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National Science Partnership The National Science Partnership
For Girl Scouts and Science Museums

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NSP Mission & History

NSP Mission
The National Science Partnership for Girl Scouts and Science Museums (NSP) seeks to increase opportunities for girls ages 6-12 to explore the knowledge and processes of science in a hands-on, exploratory, all-girl environment. The NSP builds the confidence and self-esteem of young women through positive experiences with science and technology and promotes their interest in science careers. Girls Scouts of the USA and The Franklin Institute jointly administer this partnership.

The Patch of The NSP
NSP Past & Present
Almost two decades ago, The Franklin Institute Science Museum developed a partnership with the Girl Scouts of the USA to promote the development of girls and women as confident, capable science learners. Together, with funding from the National Science Foundation, they created resources and an unprecedented national network of science museum/Girl Scout council partnerships called the National Science Partnership (NSP) for Girl Scouts and Science Museums.
At the core of NSP are science kits and print resources. These materials facilitate the completion of age-level awards for Brownie and Junior Girl Scouts, and support the Girl Scout adults who help girls with science learning and participation in science-related activities. As a result, NSP kits and their accompanying Volunteer Guides have been a key element in the remarkable and continuing vitality of the NSP program. In 2001, NSP was recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for promoting gender equity in science. girls
In 2007, NSP enters an important second stage. With support from the National Science Foundation, The Franklin Institute and Girl Scouts of the USA have updated four of the most popular kits (two for Brownie and two for Junior Girl Scouts) along with revised Volunteer Guides. These are now being widely distributed. Learn more.

Through these science activities, the NSP supports the Girl Scout philosophy of leadership development, i.e., for girls to become leaders they need to:

  • Discover: Understand their values, and use their knowledge and skills to explore their world
  • Connect: Care about, inspire and team with others locally and globally
  • Take Action: Act to make the world a better place.
Learn more.

Web-based resources, not possible when the original materials were developed, add a robust new dimension to the NSP materials now available to volunteers. See additional Resources for Volunteers.

Girls and Adults as Confident, Capable Science Learners
The NSP science activity kits build on national research that has demonstrated effective strategies for engaging girls in science learning. The kits invite girls to do what scientists do—ask questions, hypothesize, experiment, and discover—rather than simply get "right answers." Evaluation of NSP, conducted between 1992 and 1996, included written surveys, observations, and interviews of girls and volunteers. The evaluation showed that NSP increases volunteers' confidence in facilitating girls' science activities and cultivates girls' enthusiasm, positive attitudes, and long-lasting interest in science.
leader and girl
A subsequent study showed that NSP encouraged adult volunteers, with varied degrees of experience in science and education, to feel comfortable facilitating and discovering alongside the girls. In particular, science-shy volunteers had been influenced, transformed, or changed in ways that helped them to become advocates for science learning and teaching. Research focusing on the long-term impact of informal science programs for girls 5-20 years after participation is underway.

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants 0436249, MDR #8751820, and MDR #91-55285. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


Resources for Science Learning at The Franklin Institute, Copyright 2007 The Franklin Institute, 220 North Twentieth Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19103, 215-448-1200, webteam@www.fi.edu