Tag Archives: technology

Gold Award Girl Scout: Cassandra Sterns, Arvada, “Simply Technology”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project, Simply Technology, I created and taught six technology classes for independently living seniors in Arvada, Colorado that helped them learn how to use their Android smartphone. Each class taught the attendees how to use different apps on smartphones such as messages, camera, email, and Internet. Knowing how to use technology is a huge part of today’s society, and not knowing how to use it often ostracized people, namely senior citizens.

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

I measured the impact of my Gold Award through a survey I had each of the members of my class take, and by the appreciation I received personally from the attendees. Many of the seniors approached me to tell me how helpful the class was and that they are no longer afraid to try new things on their phone. Additionally, my project was requested again, which showed that people thought it was helpful and successful enough that other people should take the class too.

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

My project is going to be sustained in two ways beyond my involvement. The first way that my project will be sustained is that the Jefferson County Public Library System will continue to hold classes that teach seniors about their smartphones. The second way is that I will have a website that can be accessed by anyone with the materials that I created for my classes and more cool tricks that I hope will encourage seniors to use their phones more often. The web address is https://sites.google.com/a/jeffcoschools.us/simply-technology.

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

I grew my Gold Award project from the original location at Stanley Lake Library to a second location, Brookdale Meridian Center in Boulder. The Brookdale Meridian Center is an independent living community for retired citizens (most are in the late 70s to 80s). At Brookdale Meridian, I taught a class to the residents and helped them to understand how their phones worked.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I could have a voice that people pay attention to in a crowd and that I didn’t need to be handed a microphone when I wanted to talk to a crowd. I have always had a quieter voice and it gets overpowered a lot in discussions and conversations. I struggled during the first few classes to get my voice heard, but by the end, I was able to captivate my audience with a louder voice.

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

Earning my Gold Award is going to impact my future because it allowed me to grow and learn more about myself. My project challenged me to overcome some of my reservedness and helped me to develop as a leader. In the future, I will be able to use the skills I learned during my Gold Award project to impact the world in other and hopefully, larger ways.

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

Earning your Gold Award is an important part of your Girl Scout experience because it proves that you have learned something applicable through the organization. Additionally, it shows you that you can be an empowered young woman all by yourself and you can take on some of the problems of the world. The Gold Award is important because it culminates all that you have learned as a Girl Scout and focuses it into one project that you can be passionate about the rest of your life.

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

Through earning my Gold Award, I became a go-getter and a risk-taker. Taking on the project pushed me to pursue some of my own dreams and help the world around me; it enabled me to become purposeful. Additionally, putting myself up there in front of a group of people made me realize that taking risks aren’t so bad, in fact, my Gold Award made me more confident to put myself out there for people to see.

**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

Girls change the world through technology


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


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.”