Local Girl Scouts have a new Council Patch they can earn, thanks to the efforts of a NASA meteorologist and her partnership with the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland.

Lorraine Remer, a life member of the girl scouts and a meteorologist in the Climate and Radiation Branch at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., wanted to give something back to the organization that she says helped stimulate her interest in science.

“I became interested in science at a very young age while working on a project in the Girl Scouts,” Remer said. “Now that I’m a scientist, I want to give something back and share my scientific knowledge with them.”

With a $16,000 peer-reviewed award from Goddard, Remer worked with the local Girl Scout council to develop a set of activities that ultimately earns the Scout a patch in Earth Systems Science. Earth System Science is a rapidly growing discipline of Earth science that seeks to understand the cause and effect of changes to the Earth’s climate from the interplay of the planet’s landmasses, oceans and atmosphere.

“My passion for education and a desire to increase scientific literacy drove me to look for innovative ways to inform the public that NASA does stuff other than space science,” Remer said. “I thought the Girl Scouts was a great place to start.”

According to Remer, the Girl Scouts already have badges for space science at the different age levels, “but they do not have a similar progression of badges for Earth science. “

Remer says she wanted learning to be fun, so she developed the requirements and coordinated with the Girl Scout council. As a final step, she tested the program with girls before it was actually made available.

The requirements for earning the Earth System Science patch vary according to the different age levels, says Remer. “The younger girls (Daisies and Brownies) have to do things like collect pictures of oceans, the land and air and make a poster to represent the Earth as a system. The older girls (Cadettes and Seniors) are challenged to serve as ambassadors, attend a training program and teach the younger Girl Scouts.”

As part of a week-long camp, local Girl Scouts tested the experiments needed to complete the Patch requirements. At one point, 100 Girl Scouts visited Goddard for a tour of the NASA Center.

“I am not trying to recruit future scientists,” Remer says. “I just want to inform people, especially our young people, that the Earth works as a system and what we are doing here at Goddard is important to understanding how this system works,” she said.

The Goddard grant was funded for two years and the Girl Scout council will take over the concept and plans to broaden the program from Central Maryland to a more regional and possibly a national level.

More information about the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland can be found at:


For more about Goddard’s Earth Science program, see: