National Girl Scout CEO leads visit to MOXI

Release Date: July 7,2017


Sylvia Acevedo, national CEO of Girl Scouts, speaks to members of local troops during a tour of the Museum of Exploration and Innovation.


Camarillo Girl Scouts, from left, Kyla Martin, 8, and twins Brianna and Chloe Berlingeri, 8, build a gravity race car at MOXI.

July 7, 2017 5:27 AM

Sylvia Acevedo, CEO of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America, visited Santa Barbara's Wolf Museum of Exploration and Innovation, leading more than 100 Girl Scouts from Central Coast troops in hands-on learning.

Ms. Acevedo shared her story of how being a Brownie in the Girl Scouts helped launch her into a scientific career. She went on to earn a degree in Systems Engineering from Stanford University and became a rocket scientist with Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NASA, where she worked on the development and execution of the Voyager I mission, which flew by several of Jupiter's moons.

Girl Scout troops arrived from as far away as Santa Maria and Thousand Oaks to join Ms. Acevedo on a tour of the MOXI.

Ms. Acevedo addressed the assembled girls, encouraging them to pursue careers in science and technology. The girls then spent the afternoon practicing hands-on learning in the MOXI's many exhibits.

Ms. Acevedo emphasized the role the Girl Scouts of America plays in encouraging young women to pursue careers in science and technology fields.

"The Girl Scouts, since its beginning, has really encouraged girls in this country to be scientifically curious. Our first badges were science and engineering based" she said.

Since stepping into her position as the national CEO, Ms. Acevedo has taken the initiative to further increase the Girl Scout's commitment to encouraging participation in science and technology fields.

"We've done all we can to reduce how long it takes to create new badges and programs for the girls. I think it's important that we see ourselves as curators of content rather than the directors. So, we work with experts in various scientific fields to design thorough programs the girls can get personally involved in, allowing them to learn through doing things" she said.

Ms. Acevedo and Central Coast Girl Scout CEO Jody Skenderian have taken action on this locally, with a new MOXI Girl Scout Patch available to encouraging scouts to visit the museum and experience its wide array of hands on exhibits.

"We really do want to focus on the mission of the Girl Scouts, giving girls courage, confidence, and character," Ms. Acevedo said. "I want these girls to take action when they see a problem. I hear wonderful stories all the time, like one girl who organized a clean up of an abandoned playground in her neighborhood. That kind of ethic is what gave me the courage and confidence to fight for an engineering degree at a time when women weren't really welcome there."

Ms. Acevedo served on the Girl Scouts board of directors from 2009 to 2016, when she accepted the CEO post.

Ms. Acevedo also has founded Communicard LLC, and has held prominent positions at IBM, Apple, and other Fortune 500 companies.

MOXI, 125 State St., boasts dozens of exhibits across seven different topic areas in science and engineering.

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