United States: Brooks Kushman partners with Girl Scouts to Promote Diversity in STEM Education
Last Updated: June 22 2016

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – In partnership with the Girl Scouts of Southeast Michigan, Intellectual Property Owners Educational Foundation and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Brooks Kushman was able to distribute over 160 IP Patches throughout southeast Michigan during the 2015/2016 Girl Scouts calendar year. The IP Patch was created to supplement the Innovation badge series.

The program was made available to the Brownie, Junior, Cadette, and Senior level Girl Scouts. To earn their IP Patch, the girls learn how to think like an inventor, how inventions can improve lives, how to think like an entrepreneur and how to identify and develop solutions for social problems.

Since the inaugural IP Patch workshop last year, the program has grown to an average of 55 attendees per session. This year a special workshop was hosted at the Detroit USPTO on April 23rd, which included a tour of the facility, one of just four Regional Offices in the United States, and a presentation by Midwest Regional Director Christal Sheppard. Brooks Kushman will host a total of four workshops during the 2015/2016 school year and anticipates hosting eight workshops during the next calendar year; one session for each age group with Girl Scouts of Southeast Michigan and Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan.

"We are excited to see the program grow and develop," said Brooks Kushman Attorney Rachel Smith. "It is especially rewarding to see how each of the programs brings an awareness and enthusiasm for intellectual property. The girls have also demonstrated an eagerness to learn about the abundance of career opportunities available in IP law and other STEM industries."

Brooks Kushman co-founded the workshop in an effort to promote STEM education and awareness of STEM career opportunities for women in an industry historically male-centric. Smith notes, "Research shows girls typically start losing interest in math and science during middle school; by providing a fun, dynamic, interactive workshop we increase the likelihood they will stay engaged with STEM learning throughout their academic careers. Building a diverse and inclusive industry starts with them."

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