General Motors and Girl Scouts of the USA team up to teach girls about STEM

GM CEO Mary Barra and Girl Scout CEO Sylvia Acevedo share how girls can earn badges for automotive engineering and learn how to become successful engineers.
5:52 | 08/06/20

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Transcript for General Motors and Girl Scouts of the USA team up to teach girls about STEM
trail blazing women in engineering behind an exciting new initiative to inspire the next generation. The girl scouts are teaming up with general motors on a series of automotive engineering patches designed to encourage girls in education. The if I recall scouts and Mary barra, the chair and CEO of general motors joining us right now to talk about the pioneering new program. Good morning. Good morning, in addition to being a life long girl scout, are you also a rock scientist. Are you an engineer. So tell us about these new automotive engineering badges and why they're so important. I'm so excited about these badges. You know, they really take a girl from the passenger's seat into the driver's seat of her life. You know the world is being recreated around technology. Girls are half of the world. So they really need to have these technical skills. And I'm so grateful to GM for partnering with us on these automotive badges. You know, therefore, daisys, juniors and brownies and these girls are learning about design, which is taking a concept, sketching it out, actually even making it so they're unplugged, engineering, so that then you create it. How do you make something work the prototype? And then actually manufacturing. Wow. We're grateful for GM's partnership because their great engineers helped us teach girls about important things in manufacturing like the 5s system in manufacturing. That's something I didn't learn until I was if graduate school. Given your background, are you an engineer and CEO and you were also a girl scout so I think a lot of this has seen a no brainer in something you want to make sure you got involved in this. Yes, we think education is so important. It's one of our primary community initiatives. And to still Sylvia's point, we need more girls on a math and science path so they can become engineers. Today there is only about 13% of all engineers are women. So these engineers are the engineers as they get an interest in math and science and can help us create the all electric future that we are committed to. So we need them. It's so exciting. In fact, we will bring in a couple girl scouts working on an automotive engineering project together. We have questions about both of you working in stem. Let's start with 11-year-old Julia, what is your question for mar? How'd you get interested if stem and how did you become the first female CEO of a major automotive company? Well, thank you for that question. And I think it started when I was your age and I used to go to my dad's work bench in the basement and we would usually, I took things apart. He put things back together in those days. But I started to learn how things work. Then I really like math and my mom and dad really encouraged ne to continue to pursue it. That led to me gaining electrical engineering or earning an electrical engineering degree. Then at general motors, I had the opportunity to run a plant where we built vehicles. I had a chance to work in manufacturing engineering, where we put the equipment together to build vehicles. And then finally, I had the opportunity to run product design, where we do exactly what you get to do with these badges of design, engineer, and then manufacture vehicles. So the core science and math interest I had at your age is what allows me to be where I am today. We have another 11-year-old with us here. Valentina, you have a question for Sylvia. Go for it. What challenges do we face being a woman in stem? Thanks for that question, Valentina. You know, as a trail blazer just Mike Mary, you know, you don't counter unique challenges, so what is my most unique one is when I first started, the first place I worked as an engineer, they didn't even have a bathroom for me. And so, I had to figure out problem solve where the closest bathroom was, bring a bike into work and finally after six weeks, they saw that I was persistent, resilient and I wasn't going to give up so they brought me my own port-o-potty. And one other thing, you know, being a rocket scientist, people used to check my math all the time, which drove my crazy, because back then math was my superpow superpower. I always had the courage and confidence to stand by my work? I love that we want to know, by the way, they have actually designed and engineered model cars, including cars powered by a mouse trap and a plan as part of their girl scout trip. Sylvia, you have a message for both of the girls. You know, we are so proud of you girls are awesome. You know, and are you also go-getters. You are earning some of the first automotive engineering badges sponsored by GM. We were so grateful to this partnership. We have so grateful to you. You have earned these badges, so I'm so proud and excited to be able to virtually award you the very first new year design engineering and manufacturing badges. Congratulations. And I can hardly wait to see what the future holds and how you are going to be a part of shaping it. Thank you. Wow. Thank you so much. Awe, those smiles say everything. Thank you. Thank you, everyone, for joining us. Congratulations and thank you for inspiring girls everywhere. That was fantastic.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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