When was the last time you were asked to be creative, to come up with something unique? Girl Scouts are often asked this question throughout their day at school and even in their troop meetings. Creativity is the bridge between the arts and the sciences. Girls Scouts Carolinas Peaks to Piedmont is going full STEAM ahead this year as we are adding the arts into our programming. We are applying the arts while incorporating music, visual art, drama and dance, into activities that already has the art components. Our goal is to have every Girl Scout explore different paths of STEAM every year while challenging her to further her future in a STEAM career.
Girls build their interest in STEAM by:
S – SEEK
“Science is boring! Or STEM reminds me of nerdy, lab-coat-wearing, geeky goggles/glasses MAN holding a beaker!”
Not in the eyes of Girl Scouts, especially GSCP2P girls! SEEK out the opportunities to have fun while participating in hands-on STEAM activities! Whether girls are discovering how a car’s engine runs, becoming math whizzes or learning about careers in STEAM fields, SEEK ways you can challenge yourself through these activities. STEAM is incorporated in your Girl Scout Journeys and The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting books.
Girl Scout Journeys
Did you know that all of the Journeys have STEM included in the activities? Girls can take a new approach to Journeys so they will still be able to take advantage of the different activities.
These links are available to help you identify which activities may be able to relate to science for each program grade level. Girls can also learn more about Journeys under each program grade level.
Check out the One Page Wonders that will guide you through short STEAM activities related to your Journeys. Also see how the Girls Go Techbridge program is incorporated!
The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting
Additional GSUSA STEM Badges that girls can earn are featured in The Girls Guide to Girl Scouting. See examples below:
- Brownie – Computer Expert
- Junior – Product Designer
- Cadette – Science of Happiness
- Senior – Website Designer
- Ambassador – Good Credit
- All Program Levels – Make Your Own
Girls and parents can also explore these sites together.
T – TRY
Learning by doing is the best way to build girls confidence, especially in STEAM. NEW! One Page Wonders are activities to help you TRY more hands-on experiments that coincide with Journeys. Do them alone or with your troop!
GSCP2P’s STEAM programs and initiatives are supported by local organizations, companies and academic leaders that serve as Community Partnership Programs to help us implement our innovative STEAM programming. If you are interested in becoming a community partner, please let us know!
Here are a few examples of current STEAM community partnerships:
- Bricks 4 Kidz
- NC Arboretum
- College Innovation
- Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute
- Society Women of Engineers
- American Chemical Society
Be sure to check out the community partner programs that are happening in your area on our online calendar! If you would like to support a program or a girl with attending these STEAM opportunities, please contact the council.
E – EXPERIENCE
Where else have you had the opportunity to build and program a robot? Build your very own electronic game board? Filter water with the material you have on a camping trip? Create a pencil bag for a friend? Create a “green” sustainable room from the inside out? Make a merry-go-round in a crazy carnival? EXPERIENCE the many opportunities P2P has to offer through a series of fun, interactive, hands-on programs that will expand your horizons in the world of STEAM. Participate as an individual or as a troop!
Girls Go Robotics
For students aged 6-18, it’s the hardest fun you’ll ever have. For team mentors, coaches and volunteers, it’s the most rewarding adventure you’ll ever undertake. For sponsors, it’s the most enlightened investment you could ever make. FIRST is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization devoted to helping young people discover and develop a passion for science, engineering, technology and math. The annual program culminates in an international robotics competition and celebration where teams win recognition, gain self-confidence, develop people and life skills, make new friends and perhaps discover an unforeseen career path.
GSCP2P has been participating in the FIRST program for several years while serving over hundreds of Girl Scouts. Our GIRLS ONLY teams across our council have not only made a huge impact on the coach’s lives, but the girl’s lives as well.
Program areas include:
Jr. FIRST Lego League (Jr. FLL)
Jr. FIRST Lego League allows girls ages 6-9 to experience a hands-on program designed to capture their inherent curiosity and direct it toward discovering the possibilities of improving the world around them by building a model using Lego elements. Guided by adult coaches, teams use Lego bricks to build a model that moves and develop a Show-Me Poster to illustrate their Journey. The cost is $20 per girl + $15 for non-registered Girl Scouts. This year’s theme is Jr. FLL Think Tank- Redefining Learning.
FIRST Lego League (FLL)
FIRST Lego League challenges girls ages 9-14 to think like scientists and engineers in a fun, hands-on learning environment. This robotics program allows you can build, test, and program a robot to solve a set of missions. The cost is $35 per girl + $15 for non-registered Girl Scouts.
A general season overview for Jr. FLL and FLL includes;
- July to October – Season recruitment
- Late August – FLL Challenge released
- November- January – Tournaments
Coaches do NOT need any prior experience or technical expertise, only the willingness to acquire basic knowledge of the program and the excitement to ask the girls questions and watch them go! If you are interested in being on a team or being a coach, please e-mail our STEAM Program Manager.
FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) / FIRST Robotics Challenge (FRC)
FTC is designed for those who want to compete head-to-head, using a sports model. Teams are responsible for designing, building and programming their robots to compete in an alliance format against other teams. The robot kit is reusable from year-to-year and is programmed using a variety of languages. Teams, including coaches, mentors and volunteers, are required to develop strategy and build robots based on sound engineering principles. Awards are given for the competition as for well as for community outreach, design and other real-world accomplishments.
“The Varsity Sport for the Mind,” FRC combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Under strict rules, limited resources and time limits, teams of 25 students or more are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills and build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. It’s as close to “real-world engineering” as a student can get. Volunteer professional mentors lend their time and talents to guide each team.
GSCP2P does not currently have an FTC or FRC Robotics Team. However if you are interested in being on the team or being a coach, please e-mail our STEAM Program Manager.
Girls Go Techbridge
Girls Go Techbridge is a series of programs-in-a-box designed just for Girl Scouts in grades 4-12, along with their leaders and volunteer role models, to enjoy a hands-on introduction to science, technology and engineering. Each box features interactive projects and career activities to help girls realize their potential to empower them to be the next generation of innovators and leaders.
Engineer Your Journey
Girl Scouts of the USA has worked in collaboration with Techbridge to offer three ways to Engineer Your Journey. We invite you to use a Journey Planner to infuse your Girl Scout Leadership Experience with the engineering flair of the accompanying Girls Go Techbridge programs-in-a-box.
These planners offer tips to integrate hands-on engineering activities into Journeys for Girl Scout Juniors, Seniors and Ambassadors. We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Noyce Foundation to offer the following:
- For Girl Scout Juniors- Grades 4-5
- For Girl Scout Seniors- Grades 9-10
- For Girl Scout Ambassadors- Grades 11-12
Techbridge is adaptable to almost any situation: troop meetings, service unit events or camporees, full day events, lock-ins, camping trips, day camps, weekly series and many other opportunities.
Complete Introduction Techbridge Trainings are set up to provide adults with a better understanding of exactly what to expect during a checkout. Trainings are not required but are HIGHLY recommended. Please check our online calendar for dates and locations.
Adults, if you would like a specific training on a certain topic in your area, please find 6-20 adult volunteers, a date, location and a two-hour time slot and e-mail our STEAM Program Manager. Trainings cost $8, which cover the materials and incentives that will be used during the training, as well as credit for when you return the box.
To reserve a Techbridge box, please fill out a request form. This must be completed at least six weeks in advance allowing time to check the availability of the box, packing the box and arranging for delivery of materials.
For more information about Techbridge, please click here.
A – APPLY
APPLY the arts in STEAM while incorporating music, virtual art, drama and dance. Be a part of the community that is on board for APPLYing art-based classes at their organizations. Becoming a STEAM Community Partner will help us get the word out more about what girls are doing in their own community. For instance, Sawtooth School for Visual Arts is gearing up for workshops this fall. Are you on board?
Do you love on-line gaming? Taken Charge™ is a browser-based video game that teaches the National Education Technology Standards. Taken Charge™ teaches students the fundamentals that span all technology topics by equipping students, increasing confidence and preparing students for advanced topics such as coding and robotics. Taken Charge™ provides the building blocks of a quality technology education to students of any age but is ideal for grades 5th – 12th. Taken Charge™ employs a progressive learning model. Before a student can pass a topic or skill set, they must demonstrate a proficient understanding, allowing each student to focus on one topic at a time.
M – MASTER
STEAM is a hot topic in our girls’ vocabulary these days, and it will forever be changing. Here are ways that you can MASTER what your girls are learning and ways for you to keep up with your own professional development. What can you do to be a better influence in a young girl’s life to help her MASTER her STEAM future?
Role Models Matter
How do you spark a girl’s interest in STEAM? Are you a role model in someone’s life? Maybe you are a role model and don’t even realize it! If you are a parent, volunteer, aunt, uncle, grandparent or teacher, then consider taking this opportunity to be a part of the Role Models Matter Online Training.
This may be something entirely different for you, but anyone (yes, this includes men) interested in learning these methods that can be used in other scenarios is encouraged and welcome to take this online training
Our Role Models Matter program connects students with women and men working in the STEAM fields. Fame isn’t a prerequisite to volunteering as a role model, just a willingness to share your story, letting girls hear firsthand what it’s like to have a career in the fields of STEAM and what it takes to get there.
GSCP2P and Techbridge are sharing best practices on how to engage girls in science, technology and engineering through hands-on activities, real-world applications and career connections. After taking a part in the Role Models Matter Online Training, participants will walk away with tips for connecting with girls, strategies to highlight how cool and important science, technology and engineering careers are to society. You will be able to focus on ways to dispel common stereotypes and will receive a best practice toolkit with resources for classroom/troop visits and hosting field trips.
Generation STEM: What Girls Say about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math
Generation STEM is national research report investigating girls’ perceptions, attitudes and interests in the subjects and general field of STEM from the voices of girls themselves. The report consists of a literature review, as well as qualitative (focus group) and quantitative (survey) research with 1,000 girls across the country. The study finds that girls are interested in STEM and aspire to STEM careers, but need further exposure and education about what STEM careers can offer, and how STEM can help girls make a difference in the world. Learn more.
Parents and STEAM
As a parent, you want your daughter to have access to the best education possible. Family support is key in the success of a girl. The reality is that in today’s world, the competition for jobs is global and your daughter needs a broad set of skills in order to ensure life-long success. A solid STEAM education can help her obtain the skills needed to compete and thrive at school and at work in the 21st century global economy but often we find this is not enough. Girl Scouts can help girls pursue their interests beyond the classroom, bringing practical application to classroom concepts. Learn more.
For more information about GSCP2P STEAM programs, or if you wish to sign-up to be on our quarterly STEAM Matters newsletter, please e-mail the STEAM Program Manager or call 336-369-7432.