Tag Archives: Pine Creek High School

Gold Award Girl Scout: Lauren Butler, Colorado Springs, “Book Donation Pipeline”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

A lot of schools have library books and textbooks that they are throwing away because a lot of schools are switching to digital libraries and e-textbooks. The books that they are throwing away are in good condition and could still be used by a lot of people with restricted access to internet resources. So, my project was to get these books from the schools and get them to places where they will be read.

How did you measure the impact your Gold Award project made on your target audience?

I collected more than 3,000 books and donated them to multiple places.

How is your project sustainable? How will your project continue to impact after your involvement?

My project is sustainable because I got Pine Creek High School’s National Honor Society (NHS) on board and they will be continuing my project. I also submitted my project to the NHS database, so other high schools with National Honor Societies could replicate my project.

What is your project’s global and/or national connection?

I donated the books out of the city, out of the state, and out of the country. Besides that, by submitting my project to the NHS database hopefully other schools will try my project in their communities.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I am not great at email communication. Because of COVID-19, the majority of the communication for my project was over email. I know the basics of how to communicate over email, but it was definitely hard when that was all I had to rely on for most of my communication.

How will earning your Gold Award impact you in the future?

I am hoping that with my Gold Award I can get into a good college and get good scholarships. Besides that, I think it helped me figure out how to network with people and get the books to the right places. Also, I think just putting yourself out there.

Why do you feel the Gold Award was an important part of your Girl Scout experience?

I think the Gold Award was an important part of my Girl Scout experience because I got to work with so many other people. In Girl Scouts, there are events where you see other troops, but other than that, I don’t meet a lot of other Girl Scouts, especially not very many around my age. With getting my Gold Award, I met a lot of new people and council members that I wouldn’t have known if I hadn’t gotten my Gold Award.

How did earning your Gold Award help you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)? 

I definitely had to be innovative when earning my Gold Award. Especially because of the pandemic, there were a lot of places that wouldn’t take books and people who wouldn’t respond to my emails. Trying to think of new ideas of where books should go. Like thinking of the prison system, nursing homes, homeschooling communities, these were all places that I hadn’t really considered until starting my project and realizing that if I wanted to actually finish my project, I was going to have to do a lot more thinking outside of the box to get these books to schools.

**IMPORTANT NOTE: This blog represents only a small fraction of the hard work, dedication, and requirements that go into earning a Girl Scout Gold Award. It is simply a brief summary, which is meant to inspire Girl Scouts to Go Gold in the future. For more information on earning your Gold Award, please email highestawards@gscolorado.org.

Gold Award Girl Scout: Anna Rahn, Colorado Springs, “Get Girls in STEM”

 

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

My project inspired elementary-aged girls to further explore STEM topics in order to rectify the gender imbalance in many classes and workplaces. During the course of my project, my issue expanded to include teachers and parents in my target audience as well.

To do this, I created 17 STEM activities for use in the classroom. These were designed to be used in classrooms and after-school events, but due to the global pandemic, I was unable to distribute them to local schools. Instead, the PDF copies were made available for free on www.getgirlsinstem.wixsite.com/stemactivities. Additionally, the Instagram account @getgirlsinstem posted photos of each activity with a short description for approximately two months.

How did you measure the impact your Gold Award project made on your target audience?

I decided to measure my project’s success by the number of people reached. On social media and the internet, this is a very easy way to measure how many people have read and interacted with posts, comments, and articles. I was not sure how many online interactions were a reasonable expectation, so I set my goals after seeing how the first post performed.

On Instagram, I used the Insights feature available to creators to analyze my weekly views, follows, profile visits, and website clicks. Since this updates weekly, I recorded my statistics frequently and was able to add up my total impact at the very end of my project. By June 15, 2020, I had 727 followers, 8,010 impressions (the number of times a post was viewed), 6,933 reaches (the number of unique accounts that viewed a given post), 34 saves, 1,150 likes, and 40 posts.

For my website, I used an apps that Wix provided called QuickAnalytics and Web-Stat. These were much more detailed than Instagram Analytics and provided information on visitors, visitor location, operating systems, referring sites, and more. By the end, I had 106 visitors coming from 11 states and seven countries.

How is your project sustainable? How will your project continue to impact after your involvement?

Many students in my school’s chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS) and Science NHS were interested in creating activity pages and volunteering at demonstrations. I spoke with the students who will be in leadership next year and asked about their willingness to take over this project throughout their senior year. I received positive responses, so provided a list of suggested volunteer activities that included writing activity pages, writing blog articles, and coordinating demonstrations at local schools. With the help of these students, my project will continue to grow and impact the community even after I have disengaged.

What is your project’s global and/or national connection?

My website and Instagram page reached parents, teachers, and students all over the world. Wix’s app Web-Stat showed my website traffic analytics each month, which included information on visitor frequency, location, equipment, and more. This showed me that people from all over the country were viewing my activities and blog posts. Visitors came from 11 states (California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia) and seven countries (Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, the United States, Taiwan, and Thailand).

Instagram also showed visitor analytics, updating once per week. However, this only displayed the five top areas by city and country, so I screenshotted the important information frequently to keep track of each change. On Instagram, I received visitors from four American cities (Colorado Springs, Los Angeles, New York, San Jose) and six countries (Australia, Canada, Germany, India, the United Kingdom, the United States).

What did you learn about yourself?

During my project, I grew and learned much about myself. For example, I never realized how passionate I could be about a social issue until I started actively trying to solve one. The more research I did on the statistics and factors impacting women in STEM, the more I wanted to help dismantle these barriers.

I learned about myself when reaching out to others, whether they be teachers, principals, mentors, or organizations. I had never contacted someone about a personal project before, and was hesitant and nervous about sending my first email. However, I soon realized that advocating for a cause I truly believed in was energizing. It felt good to know I was improving a real-world situation and making a quantifiable impact. I learned that I can reach out to others and bring together a team.

I also learned about growth. The beginning of my project was rocky – progress was slow, and I wasn’t fully sure I could actually complete it. There were many steps in the road before me, and I had trouble seeing the end. However, as I began reaching out to people, they began responding. I realized there are many, many people who are willing to help, and this discovery helped me to grow in confidence and initiative.

How will earning your Gold Award impact you in the future?

My Gold Award project helped me grow in a way that will greatly impact me in the future. I learned how to manage a large-scale project, manage my time, speak up, and delegate tasks. All of these are quite important skills for a leadership position, so will help me in future job/internship applications where I can speak about my real-world experience leading a team.

Girl Scouts also helps Gold Award Girl Scouts network with one another, so by earning this award, I will be able to meet others with similar drive.

Why do you feel the Gold Award was an important part of your Girl Scout experience?

I finished my Gold Award during my senior year of high school. This was the last year I could be a Girl Scout participant before I aged out of the organization, so completing my project was like the culminating activity of my entire experience. I drew upon skills I had been working on since first joining, such as initiative, creativity, and leadership. Each of these came from troop activities, whether it be selling cookies, planning events, or working with younger girls. My project allowed me to utilize all these skills and improve upon others, as well as publicizing activities that allow girls to fall in love with STEM the way I did years ago.

How did earning your Gold Award help you become a G.I.R.L.?

When COVID-19 hit the United States, I could no longer hold in-person demonstration of my activities like I had planned. This forced me to find innovative ways of sharing my project with the community. I turned to Instagram and Wix, which gained me a larger exposure in the end since there were no physical constraints as there would be hand-delivering booklets to local schools.

**IMPORTANT NOTE: This blog represents only a small fraction of the hard work, dedication, and requirements that go into earning a Girl Scout Gold Award. It is simply a brief summary, which is meant to inspire Girl Scouts to Go Gold in the future. For more information on earning your Gold Award, please email highestawards@gscolorado.org.

Gold Award Girl Scout: Kaitlyn Barto, Colorado Springs, “Map It Out: Fun and Facts with our Fifty States”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

My project addressed the issue that not enough children are educated on geography due to a lack of exciting and engaging educational activities. The root cause of this issue is there aren’t enough resources to make learning geography fun and engaging. I addressed this by giving Peyton Elementary School a resource that can be utilized in many different ways. I painted a large, colorful (16’ x 27’) map of the United States on the asphalt near their playground area. I then created multiple lesson plans for each grade level (K-6) as well as eight games that allow the map to be used in a fun and interactive way to learn geography. The impact I wanted to make was to create a fun and interactive way for an entire school to learn social studies. The result was that students were learning geography and improving their test scores when they thought they were just having fun!

How did you measure the impact your Gold Award project made on your target audience?

A direct impact could be seen through the increased scores on geography pre-tests and post-tests given to the students. The tests were given to four different classes before and after utilizing the games and the test score averages increased by 28-36 percentage points.

How is your project sustainable? How will your project continue to impact after your involvement?

This project will be sustained through the teachers using the lesson plans and games I provide. They will be able to take students out to the map to learn for many years to come. Thousands of students will reap the benefits of having a more interactive way to learn for many years. It will also be sustained physically with the help of the school maintenance director who will use the paint I left behind to touch up areas that may eventually fade or chip. The project will also be sustained by my sharing details with eight other rural schools in the area. I sent an email to each principal that included an extremely detailed summary of the map project (including stencil information, paint colors, amounts, day by day process, hints, lessons learned, and more) as well as the lesson plans and games that I created. I also asked the Peyton Elementary School principal to please pass the plans and games on to any teachers she thought could use them.

What is your project’s global and/or national connection?

The national and global link in my project is that these children are growing up more educated, and they will bring that knowledge with them throughout their entire life. Their growing enthusiasm and interest in U.S. geography will grow to include the rest of the world, which is certainly important in our increasingly interconnected global society.

What did you learn about yourself?

Over the course of this project, I learned I am capable of more than I realized. While teaching the kids, I learned to have more patience with a group of rowdy 5th graders. I also learned and experienced the feeling of satisfaction when you see what you’re doing is having a positive effect on young people’s lives. Through this project, I learned that I need to not stress and become frustrated over things that are out of my control. For example, when laying down the stencil, the wind became incredibly frustrating as it threatened to potentially tear and ruin the entire stencil. However, I realized the wind itself is out of my control, so there’s no need to become frustrated with it. Instead, I discovered that staying calm, finding ways to mitigate the problem, and remaining persistent paid off.

How will earning your Gold Award impact you in the future?

My leadership skills in the future will grow because now, I am not as hesitant to lead. This project has shown me that being a leader isn’t scary, so I will be much more likely to put myself in a position to lead. The more leadership roles I am cast into, the more I learn, the more confident I become, and the more determined I am to make a positive impact in the world. In addition, I can now list on applications that I am a Gold Award recipient. This will help open doors of opportunity especially if applying to selective programs or colleges that will help me make a difference in this world. Overall, my confidence has increased, so what may have seemed like a daunting challenge before will now seem much more achievable.

Why do you feel the Gold Award was an important part of your Girl Scout experience?

The Gold Award was an important part of my Girl Scout experience because it was almost like a test. Ever since I was a Daisy, I have been learning about kindness, leadership, giving back, and other positive values. The Gold Award journey was the time to apply everything I’ve been learning about and prove my skills. It allowed me to show everyone I’m capable, and it allowed me to give back to a community in a big way.

How did earning your Gold Award help you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)?

Over the course of this project, I evolved into a better leader.  I developed leadership skills from working and coordinating with the project advisors, spending time teaching kids, and leading my friends and family.  While painting the map, I had to delegate jobs and make sure everyone was painting with the proper color in the proper area. During this project I have also become more of a go-getter. I am no longer afraid of challenging projects and tough leadership positions. In fact, now I search for them, because I know I can handle the pressure and work involved. This helped give me a strong sense of self and the confidence that I can tackle future challenges that I’ll face in the world.  I also came to realize that it’s very important to me to have a career that allows me to share my values and that positively impacts other people and the world.

**IMPORTANT NOTE: This blog represents only a small fraction of the hard work, dedication, and requirements that go into earning a Girl Scout Gold Award. It is simply a brief summary, which is meant to inspire Girl Scouts to Go Gold in the future. For more information on earning your Gold Award, please email highestawards@gscolorado.org

Gold Award Girl Scout: Alyson Serio, Colorado Springs, “Photo-Shot Club”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I started a middle school-based club focused on learning Photoshop and photography. This club at Challenger Middle School raised middle school students’ interests in STEM– science, technology, engineering, and math. Throughout nine weeks, students gained skills shooting photos and enhancing them. At the end of the club, the students got to print out two photos to be displayed in the school. Though many middle schools do focus on art, they mainly focus on the traditional side. High school does offer more opportunities, but many middle schools lack these. Middle school is a time where students are figuring out what their interests are, socially and academically. My club opened their eyes to the digital arts and using technology creatively.

How did you measure the impact your Gold Award project made on your target audience?

I had the students take a survey at the beginning and end of the club. In the start of the club, many of the students did not know have a main interest in graphic arts or STEM. The end survey depicted that students changed their opinions. Some students even said he or she wanted to follow photography into high school. Others were interested in graphic design and computer math. In the future, I hope to see more students going into the graphic arts, programming, and photography classes in the high school I go to, Pine Creek High School.

How is your project sustainable? How will your project continue to impact after your involvement?

Next fall, I will be there to help, but will no longer run the club. The new leaders are a group of about five 6th and 7th graders who will work together to create new ideas in Photoshop and teach the new members of the club the program. I did a separate workshop for them that focused on learning how to problem solve the Photoshop program. I also went over how to be an effective leader. I provided my techniques, findings, and tips in a write up and gave it to the leaders to help as well. From now on, I will only provide guidance and oversee from a distance.

What is your project’s global and/or national connection?

I wrote up a complete plan of how I implemented and ran my club with reports on expenses and supplies. I emailed my write-up to the Technology Departments in other districts including the Fountain Fort Carson School District, Academy School District 11, and Woodland Park School District. I sent it globally to the National Art Educators Association website coordinator. This website has blogs about teaching and ideas on how to do different projects. With the help of my Girl Scout leader, I also sent it to teachers in California.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I can lead a class. I freak out or doubt myself about little things like standing in front of a group of middle schoolers. I learned that as a leader if you act confident and friendly people perceive you as such. They do not know that on the inside you may be freaking out. Acting confident makes you feel confident as well. This has been an amazing experience that gave me a lot of confidence in myself. I also learned how to talk to children. I am the youngest child in my family so I have almost no experience with younger kids. Though I am nervous around children, I have become more comfortable around them.

How will earning your Gold Award impact you in the future?

In the future, I am more likely to accept leadership positions. I also will be more confident and secure as a leader, knowing that leading others is not as scary as it seems. Mistakes can happen, and many don’t notice, forget, or forgive the mistakes. It helps to know that to be in a leadership position you do not have to know all the answers. A smart leader does not have all the answers, but has the confidence and humility to help people find them. Leading a group of people does not come with perfect confidence and presentation; it comes with wanting to teach and help others.

Why do you feel the Gold Award was an important part of your Girl Scout experience?

It is the highest award a Girl Scout can achieve. Not many Girl Scouts achieve this award, and it makes me proud to say that I am a Gold Award Girl Scout. I was in Girl Scouts since I was a Daisy. This is the crowning achievement to all the badges and events I have done throughout those years. My Gold Award also made me grow as an individual. Without it, I would not have changed as much through the Girl Scouts program. It is an achievement that takes a lot to earn and rewards the work I have done in the community. Girl Scouts and my Gold Award allowed me the experiences and challenges to grow.

How did earning your Gold Award help you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)?

It helped me become a risk-taker, leader, and go-getter. I gained a lot of confidence through this club. I learned to stop doubting myself and just take risks. Less stress and more confidence allows me to step outside of my comfort zone. I can be a leader, I can be in the front a group of people, and I can be informative and authoritative. This to me is a really big step in the right direction. I can breathe a little easier now as a leader in group projects, presentations, and collaborations.

**IMPORTANT NOTE: This blog represents only a small fraction of the hard work, dedication, and requirements that go into earning a Girl Scout Gold Award. It is simply a brief summary, which is meant to inspire Girl Scouts to Go Gold in the future. For more information on earning your Gold Award, please email highestawards@gscolorado.org