Tag Archives: STEM

Girl Scout Juniors earn badge for Balloon Car Design Challenge

Words like jet propulsion, axels, and kinetic energy might make some people nervous, but not the G.I.R.L.s in Girl Scout Junior Troop 65698 of Denver! Bianca, Addison, Jaymie, and Chloe wanted to show everyone how much fun it is to test out your mechanical engineering skills through creating their own balloon-powered car. This activity is part of the Junior Mechanical Engineering Balloon Car Design Challenge badge where Girl Scouts learn about different forms of energy and then design and build a balloon-powered car, test their design, analyze and share results, and brainstorm ways to improve their design.

Is your girl or troop up for the challenge? Access the badge requirements here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/on2rkzwc7oxvkad/AABfFVlgt_dJFLwNZ_93LYwca?dl=0&preview=Junior_Balloon+Car+Design+Challenge.pdf

Job shadowing opportunity for 10th, 11th and 12th grade Girl Scouts

Girl Scouts of Colorado is partnering with Gusto, a Silicon Valley- and Denver-based technology company, to teach girls entering 10th, 11th, and 12th grades what it’s like to write code that solves a real world problem! Gusto will host a group of girls for three (on November 16, 2018 and April 12 and June 28, 2019) four-hour (from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.) “jam with software developers, product managers, and designers” sessions with lunch included.

In each session, girls will get a taste of an average day as a developer – from creating a feature to finding and fixing bugs in the code. Over the three sessions, we’ll go through a design sprint to define a problem to tackle with software and design a solution. We hope to inspire a future cohort of computer scientists!

Interested? Apply by October 1: https://gscolorado.formstack.com/forms/gusto_job_experience_opportunity

Questions? Contact Emily Speck, girl experience manager, emily.speck@gscolorado.org

Help wanted: Girl Scouts to show off their STEM skills

Are you excited about the new STEM badges? Would you be willing to help your fellow Girl Scouts by recording a how-to video? If so, we need your help!

STEM is a subject area that not every leader, or girl, is completely comfortable with. Terms like programmer, robotics, or even scientist can make people nervous and prevent exploring what these badges or Journeys require. Let’s break down some of those nerves by showing everyone how easy it can be. Selected individuals or troops will record a five to ten-minute video that walks a viewer through a how-to on completing an activity that is part of one of our national leadership Journeys or badges.

Requirements:

• Excitement for STEM and experience leading/participating in the new Girl Scout STEM content

• Willingness to be filmed and have your video published by GSCO

• Able to clearly explain activity and follow a lesson plan

• Work with GSCO to have staff film the how-to video

Interested individuals or troops should email Emily Speck at emily.speck@gscolorado.org. Please include your name, who wants to participate, your city or region, and if you have an activity/subject you would prefer to teach.

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.

Free STEAM day camp for Girl Scout Juniors

Girl Scout Juniors are invited to “Explore It,” a free, fun, and interactive STEAM day camp hosted by the Museum of the West and the Bureau of Land Management, June 27 – 29, 2018! Girls will learn about dinosaurs, paleontology, geology, fossils, mining, and the history of early life in the Grand Valley through hands-on activities and visits to regional educational and historical sites. Girls will also visit the Museum of the West, Cross Orchards, the Mica Mine, Dinosaur Journey, Fruita Paleontological Area, and Dinosaur Hill.

Here are highlights of what’s planned:

• Visit Cross Orchards and learn about early life in Grand Valley (irrigation agriculture, fruit packing, train transportation). Learn about pioneer kids and what the daily life of a child 125 years ago was like and ride the train.

• Hike Bangs Canyon Trailhead to the Mica Mine and focus on the engineering challenge of historical mining.

• Tour collections and prep labs at Dinosaur Journey to learn about science and methods in paleontology and stewardship of fossils. Dissect and owl pellet and build a dinosaur.

• Visit the Museum of the West and learn about tools and science of Archaeology with real artifacts.

• Hike Dinosaur Hill Loop and learn about regional geology from experts and the Apatosaurus at Riggs Quarry.

• Hike the Fruita Paleontological Area and Loop to learn about sedimentary rocks.

The camp is based at the Museum of the West in Grand Junction, but will explore many sites in the area. Camp starts at 9 a.m. each day and will end around 4 p.m. The camp is FREE for Girl Scout Juniors thanks to the Museum of the West and the Bureau of Land Management. To register, please go to https://goo.gl/9YR6z6 . Registration deadline is June 22, but with only 30 spots available, we expect this camp to fill fast!

Volunteers are needed! We’re also looking for a few adult volunteers to help with transportation and older girl volunteers to help younger Girl Scouts at the camp. Adult volunteers transporting Girl Scouts will need to be approved volunteers per GSCO’s volunteer policies. If you are interested in volunteering, you can sign-up at – https://goo.gl/MfnouU .

Questions? please contact Lori Thompson at lori.thompson@gscolorado.org. Thank you!

Frisco Girl Scouts earn “Robotics” badges

Submitted by Cricket Hawkins

Mountain Communities

Frisco

Troop 52843 recently completed the “Designing, Programming, and Showcasing Robotics” badges at the Brownie and Junior levels. The girls learned about biomimicry while building a simple robotic arm and then designed a robot that can assist others or animals. The girls presented to their parents and each other during their April meeting. Way to go girls!

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

Gold Award project helps bring computers for all

Submitted by Angela F., Girl Scout Gold Award candidate

Metro Denver

Centennial

Hello, my name is Angela and I am working on my Gold Award project, “Computers for All.” My project is providing computers to those with few resources. I chose to work with Family Promise to help provide them with computers for the families they work with who are currently homeless or have recently found a home.

I learned about Family Promise through my church. Our church hosts families four times a year. I volunteer for them by making meals and by providing babysitting. I have met several homeless teens going to school without a computer. I couldn’t imagine not having a computer for school. This is what has helped me identify the need for my project.

In my search for computers, I found another non-profit, Denver Tech for All. Their mission:

Tech for All makes available to individuals in the community the means to become skilled and competent in computer use; we do this by gathering donations, collecting and reconditioning used equipment, identifying qualified recipients and placing the appropriate equipment with them solely for their use and at no charge.

Denver Tech for All has agreed to provide the computers to Family Promise families in need. Currently, more than 30 computers have been distributed since January.

I am also looking for additional teens in need by reaching out to local schools. Please email highestawards@gscolorado.org if you know others in need.

Additionally, I wanted to help Denver Tech for All by obtaining computer equipment for them. To date, I have found 80+ monitors, 30 desktops, several laptops, keyboards, and mouses. My goal is to collect more than two tons of equipment for them.

On June 2, 2018 I will be collecting computer equipment at Arapahoe High School for Denver Tech for All. Arapahoe High School is located at 2201 E. Dry Creek Rd Centennial, CO. The drive is between 10 a.m. – noon in the east parking lot. Please consider donating any computer equipment you are no longer using. Even if the equipment doesn’t work, we will accept it.

Below is a flyer listing all the computer equipment needed.
Thank you so much for your support!

40963114_computer_drive_flyer

Parker Girl Scouts win $500 from Yoplait

Congratulations to Troop 65889 of Parker in the Denver Metro region! The troop recently won $500 from Yoplait for participating in the company’s social media sweepstakes. GSCO asked the troop’s leader, Karen Grealy, to tell us more about the girls and what they plan to do with their winnings.

Troop 65889 is a multi-level troop of four Daisies and seven Brownies — ranging in age from six to eight-years-old.  After working hard over their first cookie season, they were able to donate almost 350 packages of cookies to Children’s Hospital Colorado. The girls are excited to go to Great Wolf Lodge and a two-day camp at Tomahawk Ranch this summer using their cookie proceeds!

Our troop has been STEM-focused this year and have completed the “Think Like an Engineer” and “Think Like a Programmer” Journeys.   Before the end of the 2017-18 year, the girls will be exploring robots — how they work, how we program them, and how they assist the community.  

The troop was fortunate enough to win the Yoplait Facebook Sweepstakes at the end of cookie season. In so doing, they have been awarded $500 from Yoplait! The girls decided to use their prize money to buy robots! They purchased four Wonder Workshop robots with which they can interact and program simple or complex tasks. In addition, they have activity cards for each robot. By completing the challenges on these cards, they will learn basic coding skills that they can carry forward into potential STEM careers. I would like to introduce the girls’ robots: Hamster, Samantha, BB8, and Princess Leia. The girls will take turns “babysitting” the robots between meetings — allowing them to have one-on-one time with their new, blue friends.

No contest: Girl Scouts is the BEST leadership organization for girls

From Girl Scouts of the USA

Girl Scouts prepares girls for a lifetime of leadership like no other organization. From protecting our national parks to accepting a mission on the International Space Station to lobbying the city council, Girl Scouts is the best-suited organization to offer girls unparalleled opportunities to learn 21st-century skills and empower themselves with the experiences they need to succeed in life.

Access to cutting edge STEM programs and badges that prepare girls with soft skills to excel in the most competitive fields are a few benefits of being a Girl Scout.

“Girl Scouts is the premier leadership development organization for girls,” says Sylvia Acevedo, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA. “We are, and will remain, the first choice for girls and parents who want to provide their girls with opportunities to build new skills; explore STEM and the outdoors; participate in community projects; and grow into happy, successful, and civically engaged adults. We’re dedicated to building that critical STEM workforce pipeline that businesses and communities across the country are looking for. Girls are our country’s greatest untapped resource and are the key to our nation’s competitive advantage in the digital economy we’re living in. They’ll be the drivers and the designers of our industries of the future, filling and creating jobs that don’t even exist yet. And at Girl Scouts, we’re preparing girls for these opportunities.”

Research shows that a girl learns best in an all-girl, girl-led, and girl-friendly environment. Here she can practice different skills; explore her potential; take on leadership positions; and even feel allowed to fail, dust herself off, get up, and try again.

This pro-girl environment is now more important than ever—and the proof is in the research. Compared to their peers, Girl Scouts are more likely than non–Girl Scouts to be leaders because they:

  1. Develop a strong sense of self 
     
  2. Seek challenges and learn from setbacks
  3. Display positive values
  4. Form and maintain healthy relationships
  5. Identify and solve problems in their communities
Girl Scouts is the best leadership organization for girls.

Girl Scout alums continue to make waves across industries, proof that the Girl Scout effect is lasting. In the United States, more than half of female business leaders, 73 percent of current female senators, and all secretaries of state are Girl Scout alums.

There’s no contest: Girl Scouts is unmatched in delivering proven outcomes that set girls up to close the gender gap and position our nation to compete in the global economy.

The Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouting, is a top-tier credential for girls as they enter their post–high school lives, enabling them to distinguish themselves in the college admissions process, earn college scholarships, and enter the military one rank higher.

Our findings are clear—there has never been a better time to be a Girl Scout. Because when girls succeed, so does society. Invest in Girl Scouts. Change the world.

 

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.