Tag Archives: STEM

Making the Robots badge easy for leaders and fun for girls

Submitted by Bonnie Bell

Northern & Northeastern CO

Fort Collins

Troop 76059 recently completed the Programming Robots badge without actually using a computer. As a software engineer, I think the more interesting part of programming is figuring out how to instruct a robot to do a job rather than the specific mechanics of any one language. I printed out some basic maze diagrams, and reproduced them on a sheet using painters tape for the lines, so that we could have a quick set-up and take down for our meetings. At the meeting, we had a discussion about robots, then the girls proceeded to the programming part. First, they solved the maze themselves. Then, they wrote a “program” of instructions for a robot to complete the maze. Our programming language had three instructions: go forward, turn right, and turn left. Next, they paired up and each got a chance to be the robot and execute a friend’s program. If the friend was able to follow the program and get out of the maze, they were done. If not, they went back and reworked their program. Some of the girls needed just one more pass, some of them needed to finally work through the program in real time (like you would using a debugger). All of them eventually got their robots through the maze. They have consistently listed the robot activity as one of their favorite things for the year.

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form. You can share your Girl Scout moments, too.

Daisy/Brownie Troop 65753 earns new Robotics badges using Legos

Submitted by Ashlea Beers

Metro Denver

Thornton

Our troop of 24 first and second grade girls was eager to earn the new Robotics badges this year!

First, we learned about what robots are and what they do. We each thought of a problem we could solve with a robot and brought recyclable materials from home to build our robot prototypes.

Next, we visited a bowling alley and got to take a behind-the-scenes tour of a very old robot – a pinsetter! Of course, we also had some fun bowling with our troop after we learned up close about how pinsetters and ball returns work.

Finally, we invited the owner of Bricks For Kidz to help us program our own robots. We were provided with parts and instructions to build a Lego seal. We used Lego power function motors in our build, so that we could hook them up to a laptop. At the laptop, we used drag-and-drop software to program our Lego seals to move!

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form. You can share your Girl Scout moments, too.

Girl Scout SCIENCE Camp

Submitted by Marybel Good

Metro Denver

Westminster

Register your daughter for Science in the Summer day camp, and she will join other Girl Scouts entering grades 1-5 for a week of fun and learning. Each day, campers will explore a different theme of science including food science, engineering, and Harry Potter science. Camp will be held in a park in Westminster, Colorado from June 4 – June 8, 2018.

Visiting science experts will make engaging presentations on biomimicry and rocket launches. These will be followed by hands-on activities, so the girls are able to experiment with the information they learn.

Have you ever eaten slime made out of gummy bears? In addition to fun food science projects like edible slime, your camper will have the opportunity to learn Girl Scout cooking skills. We’ll be making a hot meal for three of the camp days, and all girls will participate in meal preparation.

This fun week will be rounded out by some traditional Girl Scout fun including songs and games. In addition, younger girls will be inspired by the older Girl Scouts working as Program Aides.

Register for camp: https://girlscoutsciencecamp.wordpress.com/

Questions? email: GScamp64021@comcast.net

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form. You can share your Girl Scout moments, too.

Celebrating Girl Scouts’ 106th Birthday

Submitted by Tiffany Baker

Metro Denver

Highlands Ranch/Lone Tree

Girl Scouts’ 106th Birthday is March 12, 2018. Troop 59 of Highlands Ranch/Lone Tree celebrated a few days early with a cake decorating contest! Categories included STEM, superheroes, camping, patriotic, flowers, and of course, Girl Scouts!

Girl Scout Junior Diana B. created this volcano cake!

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form. You can share your Girl Scout moments, too.

Gold Award Girl Scout:  Riley Morgenthaler, Morrison, ” Creativity Tool Tubs and Manager Mentors”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project, I helped lessen the underrepresentation of low-resource children in STEM activities by addressing both the lack of resources and support that they face.  In order to encourage the involvement and enjoyment of STEM activities for students from Title One schools, I supported their involvement in the quality STEM based activity Destination Imagination.  Destination Imagination is a creative problem solving competition in which teams of students develop solutions to science, engineering, and technology challenges, developing team work and project management skills along the way.  To lessen the resource gap that students living in poverty face, I developed Creativity Tool Tubs, which are kits which contain various tools that are useful in the successful completion of a Destination Imagination solution.  In order to address the lack of support that these children often face when attempting to participate in STEM activities, I created a mentorship program entitled “Manager Mentors.”  Through this program adult leaders in underprivileged communities can get help from experienced adult leaders in order to encourage their success and continued involvement.

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

The main way that I have been able to measure the success of my project is through the demand that was created around the Creativity Tool Tubs and Manager Mentor program and the success that I had in meeting that demand.  Although my original goal was to create only five Creativity Tool Tubs, after bringing my idea to the community I discovered an even larger need than I originally anticipated.  This is why I became determined to create enough Tool Tubs as to not leave any kids wanting.  I consider my project a success, as I was able to provide a Tool Tub and mentor to every interested Title One team in Colorado.  Another way that I have measured the impact that my Gold Award project had on the target community is through the feedback I have received. I have gotten many emails and spoken to many adult leaders telling me how important the Tool Tubs and mentorship program have been for their experience this year.

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

Both parts of my project will be sustained beyond my involvement and create a lasting impact on my target community.  The Manager Mentorship program is extremely sustainable due to the “human web” that it has developed in the Destination Imagination community.  I requested letter of intent from the current members of the mentorship program, and have received seven back indicating their intent to participate in the mentorship program next season.  Additionally, the Destination Imagination Training Team has indicated their intent to take over and run the Manager Mentor program for years to come.  I have also made physical resources available on the Destination Imagination Colorado website, so that Title One adult leaders can access them at any time, and anyone interested in implementing a similar program can use the resources I have created.

The Creativity Tool Tub aspect of my project is sustainable beyond my involvement because the Tubs will be collected at the end of every Destination Imagination season, and distributed at the start of the next season.  Destination Imagination Colorado has agreed to house the Tool Tubs during the off season, and facilitate their distribution. The JeffCo Steering Committee, a group of volunteers in Jefferson County which works toward providing STEM opportunities to Title One students and has a particular emphasis on keeping students across the district involved in Destination Imagination, has signed a letter of commitment agreeing to house the funds that I have set aside and replenish the used, lost, or broken items as necessary.  Also, the Destination Imagination Youth Leadership Committee has agreed to inventory the Creativity Tool Tubs at the end of each season.  Through these commitments, I am confident that my project will continue to help underprivileged students access STEM learning for years to come.

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

The national and global link of my project developed through my effort to inform and inspire people throughout the nation and world to implement projects similar to my own.  I developed an informational piece regarding the root causes I addressed, the steps I took and the importance of the issue I identified and contacted Destination Imagination Inc. requesting assistance in spreading the word.  They agreed to publish the piece, along with pictures of the Tool Tubs, to their various internationally followed social media accounts.  Destination Imagination, Inc. also agreed to publish instructions on obtaining the resources and documents that I have created and developed throughout my project so that people interested in implementing a similar project can have access to them.  Through this article, Destination Imagination Inc.’s 29,602 followers were able to read about my project.  The Facebook post about my Gold Award Project received 319 “likes,” 53 “shares,” and 28 comments.  Some of the places comments came in from include Virginia, Michigan, New Hampshire, Illinois, Oklahoma, California, Minnesota, Arkansas, Texas, Ohio, New York, and Massachusetts.  In addition to the comments from various states, my story was shared by two people in Amman, Jordan.  These two people are affiliated with a non-profit program in Jordan called Youth for Development.  This organization is dedicated to creating well informed young people who can take responsibility for global problems like extreme poverty and hunger and actively take part in the solution.   I am proud of the scope and variety of people that my project was able to reach through this avenue.

In addition, after reading my article on Facebook, Michigan Destination Imagination reached out to me to learn more about my project. Through this I was able to provide them with more information about how to start and carry out a program similar to mine, and I received a letter of commitment expressing their interest in starting a program of their own.  As of 2009, 44% of children in Michigan lived in a low income household.  This makes Michigan a perfect place for my project to grow and develop in, as it truly has the possibility of helping a massive number of children.

What did you learn about yourself?

Through my Gold Award project I discovered my power as a leader, not only of people my own age, but of people much older and very different than myself.  Through the course of my project, I mobilized people of all different ages and genders, and learned how to effectively communicate with all of them.  This was an important discovery for me, because I was very nervous about guiding so many other people, and am proud to have overcome this obstacle.

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

Earning my Gold Award will make me a more brave and confident person moving forward.  Throughout the process I was pushed past my comfort zone, and this has prepared me to take more risks and challenge myself in the future.  I truly think that my Gold Award experience has made me better equipped to face the challenges of my future.

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

While Girl Scouts has given me so many amazing experiences, earning my Gold Award is by far the accomplishment I am most proud of.  I was able to use the skills I have learned throughout my 12 years as a Girl Scout and accomplish something truly amazing.  I aspired to earn my Gold Award ever since I was a Brownie, and I am proud to have kept my Girl Scout Promise, and have made the world a better place.

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

Earning my Gold Award undoubtedly helped me become a go-getter.  The process pushed me to accomplish more and more, and taught me the importance of striving to be the best you can be.  I am proud of all of the steps I took to ensure the true quality of my project and guarantee the continued sustainability.  The Gold Award Process continually pushed me to strive for better, and taught me to be a true go-getter.

**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

G.I.R.L. Stories: Becoming innovators and risk-takers with the new STEM badges

Submitted by Marie Williams

Metro Denver

Golden

Our Daisies do more than make friendship bracelets and sell cookies! The first-grade girls in Troop 65565 learned about the law of conservation of energy from one of the troop dads who is an engineer, and then had a chance to design and build their own roller coasters.

With just some cardboard, straws, ping pong balls, and a little hot glue, all of the girls got a hands-on STEM experience, and earned their Roller Coaster Design Challenge badge!

We’re teaching our girls to be innovators and risk-takers through some of the new STEM badges, and they’re having a blast doing it!

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form. You can share your Girl Scout moments, too.

Microsoft Entrepreneurship Camp

Microsoft invites all Girl Scouts to participate in a special entrepreneurship camp as they celebrate National Entrepreneurship Month at the Microsoft Store on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. This class is perfect for Cadettes interested in earning requirements towards their Entrepreneur Badge. Girl Scouts will walk through a series of engaging hands-on group activities to introduce key business concepts, including:

  • How to create a product or service
  • Marketing and promotion
  • Pricing and costs
  • Manufacturing and distribution

At the end, Girl Scouts will even have a chance to present their business plan and practice their pitching skills.

The event will be held at the Microsoft Store at Park Meadows Mall in Lone Tree from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. There’s no cost for the event, but girls must register to attend. Please register at aka.ms/GirlScoutCO. Space is limited, so registering early is recommended. Questions? Please contact Jessica Oeleis at Jessica.Oeleis@Microsoft.com.

GirlsGoCyberStart: Cybersecurity opportunity for older girls

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Chief Information Security Officer Deborah Blyth have joined with the SANS Institute to educate and inspire the next generation of female cybersecurity professionals. Through the GirlsGoCyberStart program, Colorado’s high school girls in grades 9 through 12, or a homeschool equivalent, are invited to discover their talents in cybersecurity and learn about the field through a no-cost, online game of fun technical challenges.

Participating students do not need to have information technology or cybersecurity knowledge or experience; all that is required is a computer and an internet connection. Girls may play alone or in teams of two to four.

Colorado girls will be participating alongside students from across the country. The girls or teams who solve the most problems within the designated time will have the opportunity to win computers and other “techy” prizes as well as a trip, along with a parent, to the 2018 Women in CyberSecurity Conference. Additionally, the winning girls’ schools will receive a cash prize.

Registration will begin on Jan. 29 and end Feb. 16, 2018. The first 10,000 young women in high school who have registered by then will play the game online from Feb. 20 through Feb. 25.

Answers to other questions, a description of the game, and a sample challenge may be found on the GirlsGoCyberStart website at girlsgocyberstart.com.

Test the new older girl STEM Journey

Girl Scouts of the USA and Raytheon have teamed up with Girl Scouts of Colorado to test the NEW Computer Science Journey for Cadettes, Seniors, Ambassadors, and multi-level (6th -12th grade) troops. We are looking for troops to volunteer  to test the NEW Computer Science Journey for Cadettes, Seniors, Ambassadors, and Multi-Level (6th-12th grade) troops.

Why participate? Your girls will…

  • Be the first to use new STEM materials with fun and engaging activities.
  • Develop communication skills through providing feedback on the new program(s).
  • Help your troop earn a $100 Amazon gift card to support troop-related program expenses.
  • Help develop new STEM program, and be part of history!!

Selected troops would complete the program activities and surveys about the program between February 2 and April 1, 2018. Interested in participating? Fill out a brief form at www.tinyurl.com/6-12CompSciPilot no later than January 19, 2018.

Questions? Email Katie Singleton at katie.singleton@gscolorado.org.

Computer Science Journey Pilot Troop Recruitment Flier

Girl Scout Cadettes and Seniors from Aurora visit Challenger Learning Center

Submitted by Melissa Deal

Metro Denver

Aurora

Four Girl Scout Cadette and Senior troops from Aurora got together for a day of space exploration at the Challenger Learning Center in Colorado Springs. They participated in two space missions, and truly worked as a team to complete their mission! Good job Girl Scouts!

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form. You can share your Girl Scout moments, too.