Tag Archives: science

Girl Scouts introduces 30 new badges to power girl leadership

From Girl Scouts of the USA

Girl Scouts releases new badges in environmental stewardship, space science, robotics, and more to help girls create positive change in their communities—and beyond.

Today, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) rolled out 30 new badges and 2 new Journeys (available now!) exclusively for girls ages 5–18—enhancing the time tested, one-of-a-kind leadership experience that has prepared countless women and girls to excel in life. The new programming will prepare girls to address some of society’s most pressing needs through hands-on learning in cybersecurity, environmental advocacy, mechanical engineering, robotics, computer science, and space exploration. 

The new programming for girls in grades 6–12 includes:

  • Think Like a Programmer Journey, funded by Raytheon and providing a strong foundation in computational thinking and the framework for Girl Scouts’ first ever national Cyber Challenge, coming in 2019. The programming will prepare girls to pursue careers in fields such as cybersecurity, computer science, and robotics. Learn more.
  • Environmental Stewardship badges, funded by the Elliott Wildlife Values Project and expanding on GSUSA’s current Environmental Stewardship badge offerings. Girls in grades K–12 are encouraged to prepare for outdoor experiences and take action on environmental issues they care about. Although Girl Scouts have been advocating for the environment since the organization’s founding 106 years ago, the new badges are the first to specifically mobilize girls to be environmental advocates who address problems, find solutions, and take the lead to protect the natural world. Learn more.
  • Robotics badges that teach girls how to program, design, and showcase robots, completing the suite of Robotics badges that GSUSA introduced for girls in grades K–5 last year. Now, every Girl Scout can develop robotics skills and earn badges while she’s at it! Learn more.
  • The College Knowledge badge for Girl Scouts in grades 11 and 12—the first badge dedicated to college exploration. By showing girls how to research the admissions process, financial aid, and other key factors, our College Knowledge badge meets a specific need and addresses the life skills girls have told us they’re interested in—and that many don’t find support for outside Girl Scouts. Learn more.
  • Think Like an Engineer Journey, which helps girls understand how engineers address and solve problems. As with all Girl Scout Leadership Journeys, girls complete hands-on activities and use their newly honed skills to take action on a problem in their community. Learn more.

Girls in grades K–5 can now earn badges in:

  • Cybersecurity. Funded by Palo Alto Networks, our new Cybersecurity badges introduce girls to age-appropriate online safety and privacy principles, how the internet works, and spotting and investigating cybercrime. Learn more.
  • Space Science. Funded by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate and led by the SETI Institute, these badges let girls channel their inner NASA scientist as they learn about objects in space and how astronomers conduct investigations. Learn more.
  • Mechanical Engineering. Girl Scout Juniors—girls in grades 4 and 5—design paddle boats, cranes, and balloon-powered cars; and learn about buoyancy, potential and kinetic energy, machines, and jet propulsion. Following last year’s introduction of Mechanical Engineering badges for girls in grades K–3, the addition of these badges means that ALL Girl Scouts in elementary school now have access to hands-on engineering experiences. Learn more.

Enhancing Girl Scouts’ proven girl-led programming, these new badges and Journeys will set girls up for a lifetime of leadership and success, and prepare them to take action to make the world a better—including greener and more equitable—place for us all.

Today’s youth are increasingly vocal about the change they want to see—and Girl Scouts are the best equipped with the skills needed to make a real impact. In fact, girls who participate in Girl Scouting are more than twice as likelyto exhibit community problem-solving skills than girls who don’t (57 percent versus 28 percent). The important soft skills like confidence and perseverance that Girl Scouts promotes, coupled with the hard skills linked with our standout, 21st-century programming definitely set Girl Scouts apart.

There’s just no doubt about it: Girl Scouts is the single BEST place for girls. Delivering a one-of-a-kind leadership development program (and the largest in the world for girls!), Girl Scouts provides girls with unlimited girl-led adventures found nowhere else. Troops are forming now—join Girl Scouts today. 

GSUSA works with top organizations and specialists in fields that interest today’s girls. These entities advise us and collaborate with us to develop cutting-edge programming for girls. Recent content collaborators include Code.org, the Cyber Innovation Center, robotics educator and author Kathy Ceceri, the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, the Museum of Science in Boston, and Design Squad Global. Girl Scouts themselves also rigorously tested select new program offerings, including the Think Like a Programmer activities and Space Science and Cybersecurity badges announced last year and available for girls nationwide to earn.

Girls change the world through technology

app_devcomputer

Submitted by Cortney Kern

Phone applications can guide us, entertain us, and connect us to our communities. If you could create a new phone app, what would you create? How could this app make life easier? No need to just dream about your new app, you have the resources to make this happen! The Girl Scout innovator and digital arts badge opportunities for Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors help get you there. To supplement your badge experience, team up with Technovation, a global program working with girls to mentor them on how to develop an app that improves communities.

Whether you are new to computer sciences or advanced, course materials for these programs are provided by Technovation for free. This is a great opportunity to learn about new careers and gives you a shot at a financial reward to bring your application to life! The grand prize for one middle school team is $5,000 in seed funding and a trip to the World Pitch in San Francisco. In the high school division, eight teams will win a trip to World Pitch in San Francisco to compete on a global stage, and one team will win $10,000 in seed funding.

 Why not get started with your troop? Mentors can be troop leaders, professionals in the field, school teachers, or an adult who is interested in having a big impact. Read below to learn how Technovation has changed both girls and mentors lives. 

Technovation Changes Girls’ Lives

Technovation has been inspiring and educating girls and women to solve problems using Technovation for the past 5 years, so we’ve been able to collect a lot of data. Most girls have never started anything or taken a Computer Science class before Technovation, but many were transformed after the program.

  • 70% of alumnae were more interested in entrepreneurship after Technovation than before
  • 70% of alumnae took further Computer Science courses after Technovation when given an opportunity
  • 94% of alumnae believe that tech careers are good for women
  • 44% of college-age alumnae who had already selected a major chose Computer Science vs .4% of college women overall (according to AAUW.org) based on preliminary alumnae survey data; we’re following up with a second survey to check these astounding results

Technovation Changes Mentors’ Lives

Did you know that one of the first women to graduate from the most prestigious technology startup incubator, YCombinator, was inspired to apply because of her experience with Technovation? Technovation helps professional women in some surprising ways.

  • 75% of mentors said Technovation helped their own professional development
  • 76% of mentors said Technovation increased their knowledge about entrepreneurship
  • 62% of mentors said Technovation increased or refreshed their own technical skills

 How do you get started? Form a team of up to five girls to work together to research, design and build an app prototype alongside a female mentor in technology and engineering.  No prior coding or app development experience is required. The commitment is 40-60 hours from February to April. Ready to learn more? Read over the student checklist to see how to get started. Still have some questions? Feel free to email Cortney.Kern@gscolorado.org to learn how we can get a Girl Scout of Colorado team up and going!

 

 

Xcel Energy awards STEM grant to Girl Scouts of Colorado

Kirk Scheitler with Xcel Energy presents a $15,000 grant check to Girl Scouts of Colorado’s president and CEO, Stephanie Foote, to support local Girl Scouts science, technology, engineering and math programs.

Xcel Energy recently awarded Girl Scouts of Colorado a $15,000 grant for its statewide science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs, with an emphasis on programming in the metro Denver area. The grant will support Girl Scouts of Colorado in providing STEM programs that contribute to girls’ academic achievement and encourage them to realize their potential and leadership capabilities in STEM fields.

Girl Scouts of Colorado incorporates fun and educational STEM activities into all aspects of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience—from camp to badge projects, events and after-school programs. Girls are introduced to STEM-related careers that are generally under-represented by women, and to successful female role models who work in those careers. Girl Scouts, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2012, has successfully engaged and cultivated girls’ interest in STEM subjects over the decades.

Through its focus area grants, Xcel Energy supports nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations that: improve science, technology, engineering, economics and math education; improve and enhance the natural environment; help individuals achieve economic self-sufficiency; and that provide access to arts and culture. In 2011, the company contributed $3.9 million in focus area grants to organizations across its eight-state service territory. More information on Xcel Energy is available at xcelenergy.com.

To learn more on how to support Colorado’s 30,000 Girl Scouts and 9,000 adult volunteers, visit girlscoutsofcolorado.org or call 1-855-726-4726.

Girl Scout Gold Awardees make a difference

[slideshow]

Broomfield High School Junior Grace Forrey “battled the effects of relational aggression and media hype” for her Girl Scout Gold Award. She designed, organized, and implemented self-esteem workshops to help girls entering 4th-6th grade realize their worth and recognize what factors have us at their mercy. Grace said, “Boys take it out on the sports field, girls take it out on each other.”

Clear Creek High School Junior Nicole Moes “was distressed with gender differences in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields” so she did something to share her love of science for her Gold Award. Two events were held- one for 5th -7th grade girls on the fun side of science and a more career oriented event for high school students.

Are you an organ donor? Niwot High School Senior Katie Rose “set out to educate her peers on the need for organs for transplant” to earn her Gold Award. Katie said, “If tragedy strikes, your organs could go to help someone who would die without a transplant.”

Girl Scouts of Colorado congratulates these girls who recently completed the highest award in Girl Scouts, the Gold Award!

Reach for the stars, you’ll land on the moon!


Written by Colorado Girl Scout Alumnae, Emily Walters, who earned her Gold Award in 2004

Girl Scouts and the Girl Scout Gold Award has helped me get to where I am today.

I was recently fortunate to work on the GRAIL satellite project at Lockheed Martin. GRAIL (Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory) is a two satellite system that will orbit the moon to analyze the internal structure and lunar gravity. They are relatively small compared to other satellites, about the size of a washer and dryer, and launched toward the moon on Sept. 8, 2011. I was a part of the team that assembled the spacecraft, tested each component of the spacecraft as it was added, and tested the fully integrated system. Prior to the launch, I worked in Cape Canaveral, Florida to do final testing and integrate the GRAIL satellites to the rocket. Some days I wrote procedures or code software scripts, other days I worked in a cleanroom bunny suit running a test on the spacecraft. I got to work directly with the hardware to get to know the satellites in and out. On Sept. 8th, I helped the team launch the rocket for its journey to the moon!

In school and growing up, I was always interested in math and science. When it was time to decide what I wanted to do for my Gold Award project (one of Girl Scouts most prestigious awards), I knew that I wanted to do something to share my love of math and science. When I was in high school, I earned my Gold Award for starting a summer science program for elementary aged kids. It was an opportunity for me to have fun and help inspire others with my passion for science. During my project, I led the children through different science topics and experiments. Since I had always been interested in space, we had a “space week” where we explored different space topics.

What helped me the most with earning my Gold Award were the team building experiences that I had through Girl Scouts. I had an opportunity to learn about leadership and eventually take the lead. I also had to go outside of my comfort zone while working on my Gold Award, which helped me push my boundaries. I use these skills at work by asserting myself with a team to make sure that GRAIL was ready to go to the moon. On Sept. 8th, I sat in front of a monitor in the Mission Control Center as the rocket counted down to take GRAIL to the moon.

If you want to learn more about GRAIL, visit these sites:

Girl Scouts compete in robotics competitions

Savanna and Linda with their BUILD Award

View more photos in Girl Scouts of Colorado’s Flickr gallery.

From Troop Leader Susan Baker

Linda Baker, 9th grade, and Savanna Inman, 10th grade, are Girl Scout Seniors in Troop 66 from Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins. Linda and Savanna competed this year in two different robotics community teams in Northern Colorado.

Their VEX Robotics team built and programmed a robot that is under 18” in size, and competed in Berthoud, Loveland, Logan (Utah) and at the VEX Robotics World Championship in Orlando (Florida) April 13-17. Their team of five freshmen and sophomores competed with and against more 500 teams from around the world in matches and interviews over a period of three days. The team ended up winning the Build Award, which is presented by a panel of judges to the team that has constructed and programmed the best robot consisting of mechanical and electrical components.

The girls’ Lego Robotics team built and programmed a robot that is under 12” in size and is pre-programmed to perform missions autonomously to earn as many points as possible in 2 and half minutes. They also participated in a research project to measure and record gait disorders in elderly people. The team won the second-highest award at the Colorado Championship in Denver. Linda joined another team to compete in the North American Open at LegoLand in California against 76 teams from the United States and Canada May 21-22. Linda’s team there won the highest award for Gracious Professionalism, which encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community.

“My favorite part of robotics was getting the chance to teach programming to students who are younger than I am,” said Linda. “I really enjoy mentoring others in the STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and math. This year I have come to realize that I have a lot more to learn, as well as a lot that I can teach others. I would like to see more Girl Scouts involved in STEM subjects in school, as well as in extracurricular activities.”

“My favorite part was learning the fun ways of doing math, building things and making it all fit together,” said Savanna. “I also liked the new skills I learned, such as soldering and teamwork. I also really liked building the robot. I enjoyed working with everyone, brainstorming ideas and trying them out. It was fun to work as a team to decide what was better for whatever we needed at the time.”