Tag Archives: STEM

Snag one of 100 computer science scholarships

Colorado currently has 13,500+ open computing jobs with an average salary of $98,597, yet Colorado had only 785 computer science grads in 2015. These Colorado graduation rates and technology training opportunities impact the students and their families, businesses, community and the state economy. CTA, Colorado Succeeds and Silicon STEM Academy have partnered on a $20,000 scholarship fund for 100 Colorado students statewide to jumpstart their future in tech through online coding classes.

Funded by Silicon STEM Academy, the classes – available online – are just one piece of a multi-pronged approach to increase computer science education in our state. The goal is to offer the scholarship to 50 percent females and have 50 percent participate from outside the Denver-Boulder area.

Learn more and apply for the Computer Science Scholarship, then share with your network. Applications are due December 20, 2017. This is a can’t-miss opportunity!

GSCO STEM events this fall

Girl Scout Day at Dinosaur Ridge, Morrison

More than 200 Girl Scouts, friends, and family enjoyed Girl Scout Day at Dinosaur Ridge on Oct. 14, 2017. Girls met several badge requirements by doing hand-on activities with different STEM organizations and toured the fossils at Dinosaur Ridge. One of the best things about this event is that it is both a Girl Scout and a family event. While the event was geared towards Girl Scouts, there was something for everyone.

GSCO would like to thank the Molly Brown House, Western Interior Paleontological Seaway, National Park Service, Libby Talks, the Great Denver Gem, and Mineral Council and Women in Mining for providing great activities for our girls!

A BIG thank you also goes to GSCO Volunteer Support Specialist Toni Dondero for helping with registration! More than 70 percent of our participants paid through a walk-up registration, so Toni’s help was invaluable. A BIG thank you goes to Erin LaCount at Dinosaur Ridge and her amazing crew of volunteers that hosted a great event!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Engineering Day with the Society of Engineers at the Colorado School of Mines, Golden

More than 100 Girl Scout Juniors earned the first part of the new Robotics badge at Engineering Day hosted by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden on Oct. 7. SWE students planned and taught the whole event. A favorite activity was asphalt cookies, yummy treats made of chocolate and oats by rolling the ingredients between waxed paper and canned goods which girls brought for the activity and later donated.

Girl Scouts also had fun at over 10 different STEM stations where they made binary bracelets, lava lamps, engineering machines, and towers, statistics (thanks to the use of Skittles), and how germs spread at the Oogie Boogie table. The activities were taught by some of the most active SWE students as the Colorado School of Mines’ SWE chapter is the largest in the nation. A big thank you goes out to Jenna Lucas, SWE’s Engineering Day Chair; Agata Dean, faculty advisor, and the members of SWE who hosted this great event!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ford Girls Fast Track Race, Fort Collins

80 Girl Scouts from Northern Colorado and the Front Range raced pine wood derby cars at the Ford Girls Fast Tracks race on Sept. 30 in Fort Collins. Girls made their own cars, fine-tuned their car’s design with the help of a Ford Engineer, and competed fiercely to win.

Ford generously sponsored the race and GSCO was one of eight councils nationwide that received a grant to host the event. Girls received a free car kit, t-shirt, food, and a special event patch. Check out the racing action in this video aired on Fox 31/KWGN-TV here . Two Ford engineers were onsite and counseled girls on ways to alter their cars to win. A favorite part of the race was seeing each girl’s car and the thought and creativity they put into each design. Another favorite part was seeing the proud smiles of the girls racing their cars!

A BIG thank you goes to Julie Gallagher, Gayle Richardson, Elise Barrios, Carol Griffin, and Amy Myers for being the GSCO Race Pit Crew! We’d also like to thank Ford and their team for a great race day.

Upcoming Events

Check out these fun GSCO Events! GSCO Staff are welcome to stop by these events to check out what our Girl Scouts are doing first-hand or enjoy our Girl Scout discount at these sports and entertainment events.

Nov. 18 – Project C.U.R.E., Denver. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (troops can choose 1 of 3 sessions). Cost: $6 per kit donated. Come learn about Project C.U.R.E. and pack a kit for donation. Fun activities and event patch included. Register here. This is our biggest event of the year, so GSCO staff members are welcome to stop by and check out what the girls are doing!

Dec. 2 – Girl Scout Teddy Bear Toss with Metro State Hockey, Westminster. 3:45 p.m. game start. Cost is $1+ teddy bear/stuffed animal to donate/person or $5/person without a teddy bear. Cheer on Metro State at they take on CU Hockey. Participants will toss their bears on the ice when Metro State scores their first goal. To register, please contact Victoria Fedorco atmsuvictoriaf@gmail.com  with contact info and number of tickets needed. She will follow-up with further instructions.

Dec. 8 – Disney on Ice, Denver. Cost: $17.75 + online fees. Disney on Ice presents “Follow Your Heart.” Post-performance Girl Scout clinic will highlight the Tech Crew and the special work they do to put on the show. Event patch included. Ticket information can be found here.

Closing the STEM gender gap, one Girl Scout badge at a time

From Girl Scouts of the USA 

It’s no secret that there are fewer women than men in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields today. In fact, women hold less than 25 percent of STEM jobs, despite filling close to half of all jobs in the U.S. economy. And women who do hold STEM jobs earn 33 percent more than those in other industries—making the gender wage gap comparatively smaller in STEM fields. 
At Girl Scouts, we’re more than ready for a change—and STEM leaders start here, with us. Since our founding in 1912, Girl Scouts has introduced girls of all ages, from five-year-old Daisies to high school Ambassadors, to these important fields to help them see for themselves how they can improve the world using valuable STEM skills.
We are the foremost experts in preparing the next generation of female STEM leaders. Want proof? Girl Scouts are almost twice as likely as non–Girl Scouts to participate in STEM activities (60 percent versus 35 percent), and 77 percent of girls say that because of Girl Scouts, they’re considering a career in technology. 

It all starts with a badge. Girl Scouts has more than 35 of them—many introduced earlier this year—that challenge girls to stretch their STEM skills to make the world a better place. And because everything behind our badges is girl-led and girl-approved, we believe each badge can be an important step a girl takes to help close the STEM gender gap once and for all. 

Only 1 out of 3 environmental engineers are women. 

Meet the Water badge for Girl Scout Ambassadors.
With the Water badge, Ambassadors learn innovative ways to find, treat, and conserve this natural resource. Girls can explore the engineering behind dams and water treatment plants and how they help the environment. They might look into hydroelectricity and how they can use it to power the community and address environmental concerns. Or they could get inspired to design their own water filters or initiate rainwater collections to save drinking water. Talk about innovative! Earn this badge

Meet the Trees badge for Girl Scout Cadettes.
Cadettes put their naturalist hats on when earning their Trees badge, digging into the science of trees—from identifying different species on a hike to learning about all the ways we can protect them. Girls make connections between how trees benefit the earth and the people on it, including as components of fuel, medicine, shelter, and more. And as any Girl Scout would, girls use their new tree knowledge to take action in their communities! Earn this badge

Just 1 in 3 chemists are women. 

Meet the Home Scientist badge for Girl Scout Brownies.
Thanks to the Home Scientist badge, Brownies can tap into their inner scientist by conducting various (fun!) experiments in their own home. Girls can test density, concoct tasty treats using the principles of science, discover how carbon dioxide reacts with other compounds, marvel at static electricity, and so much more! Get that periodic table ready! Earn this badge

Roughly 1 out of 10 physicists and astronomers are women. 

Meet the Sky badge for Girl Scout Seniors. 
Seniors are doing more than looking at the night sky when they earn their Sky badge. They’re studying specific stars, constellations, and planets. These girls can learn how telescopes work and how astronomers use them to study the universe. Seniors are also exploring the world of aviation and space missions! How cool is that?! Earn this badge.

Fewer than 1 in 5 women are industrial engineers. 

Meet the Inventor badge for Girl Scout Brownies.
On their way to earning the Inventor badge, Brownies put their STEM skills to use to solve key problems. After warming up their inventor’s mind, girls come up with a list of problems they see play out every day that they’d like to solve. They then pick one they’re especially passionate about and strategize an innovative solution—drafting designs, presenting their ideas to friends and family, and even building prototypes! Earn this badge.

Fewer than 1 in 4 computer and information scientists are women. 

Meet the Website Designer badge for Girl Scout Seniors.
What’s awesome about our Website Designer badge is that girls decide what their website will be about. They might elaborate on a favorite hobby, highlight progress on their Girl Scout Gold Award project, create a digital journal—whatever their passion! With this badge, girls can learn to build a website from scratch, program, and create site blueprints and wireframes. They can also dive into web design, learning about fonts, imaging, and more. And once their site launches, girls are tasked with getting the word out about it! Earn this badge.

Just 1 out of 10 electrical or computer hardware engineers are women. 

Meet the Robotics badges for Girl Scout Daisies.
Through earning these three badges, Daisies learn all about robots, including how they solve problems in STEM fields. Girls brainstorm ways a robot could solve one of their own problems, learn how engineers talk to robots by programming algorithms, and use their new skills to create a robot prototype! Did we mention Daisies start in kindergarten? Now if that’s not impressive… Earn these badges

Less than 8% of mechanical engineers are women. 

Meet the Programming Robots badge for Girl Scout Juniors.
Juniors put their coding skills to the test when earning their Programming Robots badge. After learning about the intricacies of robots, including the sensors that make up a robot’s “brain,” girls program their own algorithms to instruct robots to move and react in a certain situation. The algorithms are then translated into a special code that girls can test and correct using a device of their choosing. Earn this badge.

Discover more Girl Scout STEM badges (and our other fun badges!) via our Badge Explorer. And this is just the beginning! Over the next two years, Girl Scouts will launch 18 Cybersecurity badges and a series of Space Science badges. We’re so excited!

In related news, earlier this week we announced a brand new initiative to reduce the gender gap in STEM fields by bringing millions of girls into the STEM pipeline over the next eight years. The Girl Scout STEM Pledge is an initiative that seeks to raise $70 million by 2025, affecting 2.5 million girls. To support the Girl Scout STEM Pledge, visit www.girlscouts.org/STEMpledge.

 

Girl Scout STEM Pledge: Bridging the STEM gender gap

From Girl Scouts of the USA

Studies have predicted that within the next decade, the U.S. workforce will need 1 million more STEM professionals than it can produce. Girl Scouts has already been expanding opportunities for girls to explore STEM and today we announced the Girl Scout STEM Pledge. This groundbreaking national initiative pledge seeks to reduce the STEM gender gap by raising $70 million, impacting 2.5 million girls by 2025.

Sylvia Acevedo, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, announced the pledge during Dreamforce, Salesforce’s annual gathering and the largest software conference in the world. GSUSA was honored to be selected as a “Trailblazer” and nonprofit of choice at this year’s conference. By selecting the organization, Salesforce acknowledged Girl Scouts’ work in STEM and its ability to transform the lives of millions of girls across the country, in virtually every residential zip code, preparing the next generation of female leaders.

“Girl Scouts has the largest pipeline of future female leaders available, and no place is this more important than in STEM fields,” said Acevedo. “By working with individuals and companies that understand the importance of investing in all girls, we can fundamentally change the STEM pipeline and the future of its workforce. Girl Scouts is the only organization for girls with the expertise and reach to help pave the way for any young girl—no matter if she lives in Middle America or a major city—to break barriers and achieve any dream she may imagine. For millions of girls, this means excelling in STEM—and I’m incredibly proud that the Girl Scout STEM Pledge will make that dream a reality and change the dynamics of women in these exciting fields.”

Our commitment to encouraging girls to discover and excel in STEM fields is already yielding real results: Girl Scouts are almost twice as likely as non–Girl Scouts to participate in STEM activities (60 percent versus 35 percent), and 77 percent of girls say that because of Girl Scouts, they are considering a career in technology.

To support the Girl Scout STEM Pledge through individual and corporate donations, visit www.girlscouts.org/STEMpledge.

Read more about Girl Scouts’ STEM programming and initiatives.

Girl Scouts take over Fiske Planetarium

Submitted by Rebecca “Zap” Lankford

Metro Denver

Broomfield

Troop 3572 of Broomfield hosted a scouts only event on Sunday, Oct. 29 at CU Boulder’s Fiske Planetarium. With the help of Claire, the presenter, and Spencer, the pilot, girls were shown a number of constellations and nebulae, went flying by the International Space Station, learned how to find the North Star, and floated in Saturn’s rings. The planetarium was almost full with 195 scouts and family members present. The ooohs, aaahhhs, and general excitement about space made for an exhilarating afternoon. The visit to the planetarium fulfills some of the requirements for badges for Cadettes and Seniors. Great job, girls!

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

CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA talks with 9News (KUSA-TV)

Sylvia Acevedo, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, visited Denver on the morning of Thursday, October 19, 2017. Before meeting with girls, volunteers, and supporters, she stopped by 9News (KUSA-TV) to talk with TaRhonda Thomas about why Girl Scouts is the BEST leadership organization for girls.  Here is the link to the interview: http://www.9news.com/life/girl-scouts-introduce-new-stem-focused-badges/484535809

A lifelong Girl Scout herself and former rocket scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Sylvia has held positions with some of the world’s most respected companies, including founder, president, and CEO of CommuniCard LLC, a marketing firm known for its innovative approaches to working with changing community demographics. A fierce advocate for education, Sylvia has also worked as a strategic consultant to national organizations that strive to improve outcomes with America’s rising generation of youth, as well as a national advocate for STEM education.

Dive into programming with Troop 62064

Submitted by Elizabeth Moore

Metro Denver

Conifer

There has been so much new content released for Girl Scouts this year that it can be a little overwhelming, but Cadette Troop 62064 has got your back! Your Brownies will dive into computer programming as we lead them through the brand new “Think Like A Programmer” Journey.

Girls can sign up at http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/events-repository/2017/programming_journey_.html

Our troop got special permission to guide Brownies through this new Journey for a LIA award and prerequisite to the Program Aide award! We are excited to innovate and lead at this event!

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

Girl Scout Gold Award project: Gwyneth Ormes, Centennial, “Project Blastoff”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I developed and implemented a program to teach computer science to 4th grade girls. I ran my program (one day a week for four weeks) at Willow Creek Elementary School in the spring of 2017.  Nine girls attended my program and I taught them Processing (a basic programming language) along with the general foundational concepts of computer science.  Statistics show that there are very few women as compared to men in STEM careers, but this imbalance is especially evident in computer science. Survey data from 2011 indicates that only 18% of bachelor’s degrees in computer science were earned by women compared to 42% in mathematics and statistics. (https://www.ncwit.org/infographic/3435 ). In order to combat this issue, I wanted to introduce elementary school girls to computer science early, show them that computer science can be fun, and encourage them to pursue it in the future.

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

The most important goal for my project was to make sure that the girls had fun. I know that I succeeded in this goal because all of the girls were asking me to come back and teach them again next year.  In addition, I received emails from parents who thanked me for running the program, wished they had been able to participate in a similar program when they were younger, and let me know that they really thought that this workshop was meaningful.  Next year, I will help in implementing the program again with the Cherry Creek High School Tech Club.  Since Willow Creek Elementary feeds into Cherry Creek High School, the Tech Club will also keep track of the number of girls in the various computer classes at Cherry Creek High School to track the lasting impact of the project.

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

I was happy to have received a letter of commitment from the Cherry Creek High School Tech Club and club’s advisor, which stated that the Tech Club will continue to teach this program to elementary school girls at Willow Creek in the future. The club as also been given copies of all of the materials I created, in addition to a teacher’s manual that I wrote, in order to continue the project. Next spring, the Tech Club will run the program and though I will not be leading the project again, I will be involved to help keep the project running. I reached out to other high schools about getting this project running at their local elementary schools. This year, students at Grandview High School are running my program at Liberty Middle School, which is a big step in getting more girls involved in computer science especially within the district.

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

I created a webpage, hosted by the Cherry Creek High School Tech Club, which describes my project and hosts all of my materials. The webpage provides information on how to run the project so that anyone can start up this program with their local elementary school. The materials are shared under the Project Blastoff tab at http://www.cchs.tech/project-blastoff/.  I also posted this information in the NCWIT (National Center for Women in Information Technology) Aspirations in Computing Facebook group. NCWIT is a national organization for women in computer science. Members of the group include high school winners of the Aspirations in Computing Award. Their Facebook page is the perfect place to share this information with other girls who can make a difference and run this program at their local school. I have contacted local high schools and encouraged them to get their individual technology related clubs interested in running my program at their feeder elementary or middle schools. This year, Grandview High School will be hosting my program at Liberty Middle School, which was exciting news!

What did you learn about yourself?

One important realization I came to after participating in this project is that I really I enjoy teaching.  I want to study cybersecurity in college, but I have also been thinking about eventually working in computer science education. Right now, I am not planning on becoming a teacher immediately after college, but now I know that I enjoy teaching and I may decide to teach in the future. In addition to discovering a fondness for teaching, I have also developed my presentation skills during this project. I am a more confident and I have become a better public speaker as a result of completing my Gold Award.  I learned that when I practice my presentations over and over again out loud, I get better and I do not trip over my own words as frequently. Most importantly, I learned that anyone can make a difference, no matter how small the action may appear at the time. Even though I only taught computer science to nine girls, I feel that I made a difference in their lives. I have introduced them to computer science, encouraged them to continue studying it, and helped them visualize it as possibility for their future.

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

This project gave me a huge opportunity to pursue my passions and develop my leadership skills. I had more fun than I anticipated in developing the materials and presenting them to the students. The project also put me in a position to lead other Tech Club members in the delivery of the classes. I had to convey my vision to them and keep them working toward that vision. This experience will give me confidence whenever I am in the position of leading peers in the future.

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

My Gold Award was the most important part of Girl Scouting for me because it pushed me do something bigger. Nowhere else in Girl Scouts can you do something that has such a big an impact on the community. Being able to complete a project on my own that had an impact on others made my project one of the most important things I have done in Girl Scouting. With my Gold Award, I was able to teach something I really care about and get these girls excited about computer science.

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

Earning my Gold Award helped me become an innovator. To run my workshops, I wrote all of my own course materials and created my own webpage. None of the materials I needed existed already so I had to create them. I think this was a really important experience because it allowed me to design a project that I was really interested in. The work was really worth it because I was able to make my project exactly what I envisioned. Being an innovator during your Gold Award is important because it gives you the freedom to make your Gold Award your own.

**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

Girl Scout Day at Dinosaur Ridge

Join us for our annual Girl Scout Day at Dinosaur Ridge on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017! It’s also National Fossil Day, so come learn about fossils and celebrate. All Girl Scouts, friends, and family are invited. We’ll have representatives from area STEM organizations with hands-on activities for the girls.

The event will start at 9 a.m. and Girl Scouts have until 3 p.m. to complete activities. Troops and families should allow at least two hours to complete activities and plan to arrive by 1 p.m. Cost is $6/Girl Scout and $5/other adults and youth. Children under 3 are free. An optional National Fossil Day patch is available the day of the event for purchase for $3.

Save time in line and preregister at https://goo.gl/hLFL8o . Registration Deadline: Thursday, Oct. 12. We will accept walk-ups the day of the event until 1 p.m. Questions? Please contact Lori Thompson at lori.thompson@gscolorado.org.

Robot-savvy Girl Scout depicted in new GE ad

More exciting news from Girl Scouts of the USA! The most recent addition to General Electric’s (GE’s) “imagination” campaign features a storyline with a Girl Scout. The 90-second clip, which can be found on YouTube and may soon be featured in movie theaters across the country, introduces viewers to “Molly,” a young girl who loves science and technology and invents clever ways to complete her chores. One of her best inventions comes at the 37-second mark, when we learn that Molly is a Girl Scout who has rigged up an ingenious way to sell Girl Scout Cookies from her bedroom.

GSUSA worked with GE’s creative agency to ensure the story aligned with the new G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ brand platform. Given the recent rollout of the new science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) badges, what better way to celebrate the relevancy and spirit of Girl Scouts than to highlight innovative young women in STEM?

Additionally, GSUSA is working with GE to incorporate a call to action in future iterations of the ad. Once the details are available, we will let you know. In the meantime, let’s applaud this opportunity to reach and inspire broad, diverse audiences!