Rachel Chubb of Pelham earns Girl Scout Gold Award for her project
PELHAM, NH – One of the stumbling blocks many people run into when working toward a career in medicine or science is the difficulty of the work – particularly organic chemistry. Gold Award Girl Scout Rachel Chubb wanted to change that, and has created a series of videos to both teach and inspire girls and women to succeed in that field with her project, “Orgo Essentials.” She has been recognized with Girl Scouting’s highest honor, the Gold Award, for her work.
Chubb, 17, of Pelham, is a senior at the Academy of Science and Design, and is a “feminine force of nature,” according to her teacher and project advisor, Jessica Golden. “Rachel is passionate about making chemistry, organic chemistry, all science really, accessible to female students. She is regularly participating in school-based programs to move this passion forward. From science enrichments, to publishing articles, to planning presentations and education, to after-school peer tutoring, Rachel embodies promotion of STEM ed for girls.”
“Science in general is kind of scary,” said Chubb. “It’s been a men’s field for so long. Where’s the place for us?”
Bringing more women into the sciences should improve the world in many ways. “A lack of female representation in chemistry and specifically organic chemistry can lead to detrimental effects beyond just fewer female doctors,” she said. “There are also fewer women in medical research, which means women aren't represented in drug trials, among other things. Over the years, this has led to certain drugs being perfectly safe for men but having harmful side effects for women. Similarly, there are fewer women teaching chemistry, which means fewer role models for young girls. In this way, the whole cycle is just repeated.”
Chubb has yet to attend college, but said she knows many students drop out of pre-med because organic chemistry is perceived as too difficult, stressful, and impossible to do well in. Having fallen in love with the chemistry in high school, she was fortunate to have the opportunity to take organic chemistry at the Academy of Science and Design. She went beyond the class, learning even more online. Having mastered the essentials, she decided to make a series of videos to make organic chemistry understandable, applicable, and fun. To draw more women in, she also created a second series of videos about role models in the field, including Marie Curie and Jemma Redmond.
Along with the video tutorials, Chubb organized a virtual event, “Endless Orgo,” allowing students to hear from her role models in science.
“At my school, middle and high schoolers are watching them,” she said.
“I am sure that she will leave a lasting impact on the field of chemistry while she continues pursuing equality and accessibility for women in all things science!” said Golden.
A Girl Scout since kindergarten, Chubb has made important friendships and connections. She has also been a dancers for 13 years, in jazz, lyric, ballet, and contemporary styles.
She is just beginning her college search, and wants to study chemistry with an eye toward becoming a public health expert.
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Gold Award Girl Scouts don’t just change the world for the better, they change it for good. The Gold Award is earned by girls in grades 9–12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership in developing sustainable solutions to local, national, and global challenges. Since 1916, Girl Scouts have answered the call to drive lasting, impactful change. They earn college scholarships, demonstrate high educational and career outcomes, and are active in their communities.
Rachel Chubb has answered the call to drive lasting, impactful change, and her Gold Award is a testament to her remarkable dedication to improving her community and the world.
About the Girl Scout Gold Award
- Gold Award Girl Scouts on average spend one to two years on their project.
- A Gold Award project must be sustainable after the girl’s involvement ends.
- The average age of Gold Award Girl Scouts is 17.
- Since 1916, more than 1 million girls have earned the Gold Award or its equivalent.
- Gold Award Girl Scouts are entitled to enlist at a higher pay grade when they join the military.
- University research indicates that noting you are a Gold Award Girl Scout on a college application is influential in the admissions decision-making process.
- Twenty-nine young women from New Hampshire and Vermont earned their Gold Award in the 2020-2021 membership year as part of Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains.
- The Girl Scout Gold Award is the mark of the truly remarkable.
We Are Girl Scouts
Girl Scouts bring their dreams to life and work together to build a better world. Through programs from coast to coast, Girl Scouts of all backgrounds and abilities can be unapologetically themselves as they discover their strengths and rise to meet new challenges—whether they want to climb to the top of a tree or the top of their class, lace up their boots for a hike or advocate for climate justice, or make their first best friends. Backed by trusted adult volunteers, mentors, and millions of alums, Girl Scouts lead the way as they find their voices and make changes that affect the issues most important to them. To join us, volunteer, reconnect, or donate, visit girlscouts.org.
Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains serves girls throughout New Hampshire and Vermont through volunteer-run troops, events, and virtual programs. Visit www.girlscoutsgwm.org to learn more.