Sappi North America Inc., a leading producer and supplier of diversified paper, packaging products and pulp, in partnership with the Girl Scouts of Maine, today announced the national rollout of the Paper Scientist Patch program. The patch program teaches girls the science and technology of the pulp and paper industry.
The first-of-its-kind program first welcomed Girl Scouts from around the State of Maine in 2017 to attend a paper scientist expo at Sappi’s Technology Center in Westbrook. Girl Scouts participated in activities aimed at teaching the science of paper, ranging from papermaking to recycling, and could earn their Paper Scientist Patch at the conclusion of the expo. With the addition of the Technical Association of Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI) as a partner in the initiative earlier this year, the Girl Scout patch program has expanded nationally, celebrating the science and technology of the pulp and paper industry.
“Paper science is a fascinating and rewarding field,” said Beth Cormier, Vice President, R&D and Sustainability for Sappi North America. “Because paper-based products are such a huge part of our everyday life, from the books we read, to the packaging of products, to the tissues we use, it’s important for people to understand what an amazing renewable material it is and the exciting career paths it offers women and men.”
The new virtual program is now available and accessible to all Girl Scouts nationwide. Through this virtual experience, Girl Scouts learn about the lifecycle of paper from inception as a tree to recycling facility and everything in between. To earn the patch, participants complete activities at six stops on the virtual map. Each stop includes interactive and educational exercises that teach about the different parts of a tree, how paper is made, the use of pulp and paper in items found at home and the importance of recycling.
“With the positive experiences that girls had at the in-person paper scientist expos in 2018 and 2019, we are excited to add a virtual option for completing the Paper Scientist Patch program,” says Samantha Lott Hale, Programs Director for Girls Scouts of Maine. “The virtual scavenger hunt includes all the links and instructions so Girl Scouts anywhere can learn about, reflect upon, and take action on paper, the environment, and sustainability. The virtual assets highlight the interesting science behind papermaking and the environment, and give Girl Scouts the chance to explore STEM career options.”
This initiative is one example of Sappi’s commitment to the advancement of women and making positive impact on communities. In 2021, the company exceeded its goal and appointed 21% of women in senior management positions.