About the Science Enrichment Program

The Science Enrichment Program (SEP) began in 1989 with the formation of a Girl Scout Science Interest Group in San Diego County. Open to any girl in 7th - 12th grade who had an interest in science, the group's activities were planned and directed by the girls themselves. It was active until 2002, successfully guiding many young women into future careers as scientists and engineers.

In 1994, an NSF grant supported the evolution of the Science Interest Group into the Science Scholars. This program was targeted at young women, ages 11-17, who were members of underrepresented ethnic groups. Typically 15 girls participated each year from 1994-1997. After 1997, the Science Interest group continued in its original form.

The Science Scholar program was successful, but only a small number of girls and their families were affected. We chose to broaden the program in 1998 by partnering with both the Girl Scouts of San Diego-Imperial Council and their Girls are GREAT program and with San Diego City Schools. The program was given the name Science Enrichment Program at this point. It included the Girl Scout partnership, the middle school project with San Diego City Schools and the Science Interest Group.

The Science Enrichment Program added the the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council and the Girl Scouts of Greater Northwest Georgia in 2001 and 2003 respectively as the program was replicated in the cities of Houston, TX and Atlanta, GA. In 2004, the Girl Scouts of Columbia River Council (Portland, OR) was added when project leader moving to Oregon State University.

In 2005, the program expanded again in partnership with the SMILE (Science & Math Investigative Learning Experience) program, with the project scope extended to students in rural schools.