4th and 5th graders earned badges and Girl Scout Journeys at daylong event
KINGSTON, NH – Girl Scouts of the USA is committed to adding 2.5 million girls to the STEM pipeline, and in what is expected to be an annual event, 80 Girl Scouts and 31 adult volunteers became part of that drive at the Junior Jam held at Sanborn Regional High School on Saturday, Nov. 2.
The Girl Scout Juniors, those in grades 4 and 5, spent the day earning either several badges or a full Girl Scout Journey called Think Like an Engineer. Activities were offered to earn the badges for Balloon Car, Customer Insights, Space Science Explorer, Inside Government, Detective, Crane Design, Eco Camper, Gardener, Playing the Past, and Coding Basics.
Ceara Hunt, Director of Girl Experience at Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains, said the participants learned specific skills in coding, using cybersecurity protocols, designing apps, and more. Sarah Hoffschwelle, Program Delivery Specialist for the council serving Girl Scouts in New Hampshire and Vermont, lent her scientific expertise to the day as well, making use of a NASCAR kit that teaches children about the engineering of race cars, and how drag and friction affects a car’s performance. Five kits were donated to the council by New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.
“NASCAR has partnered with Scholastic since 2015,” said Erica Wilkerson, senior account executive of growth segments marketing for NASCAR. “Through the partnership, we’ve developed methods to get students in grades 5-7 interested in the science behind racing via lesson plans focused on kinetic energy, potential energy, drag, downforce and so much more. NASCAR believes these hands-on materials will help make learning these important subjects more fun and engaging for students while at the same time creating new fans of the sport. To date, NASCAR-themed STEM Kits have been distributed to more than 22,000 classrooms nationwide.”
New Hampshire Motor Speedway has worked with Girl Scouts before, and invited them to the track, but this is their first involvement with the Girl Scouts’ STEM program.
“We value relationships like the one we have with the Girl Scouts,” said Shannon Stephens, Communications Manager for the speedway, “because it’s another way for us to connect with the future generations of NASCAR fans and show girls that racing isn’t just for boys. The Girl Scouts involve families and learning, and that fits right in with our family-friendly fans-first initiatives here at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. It’s important to us to be able to partner with local organizations and be involved with our community.”
“The day was a whirlwind of activity,” said Hunt. “Girls explored a variety of topics including engineering, robotics, civics engagement, camping skills, space science, sleuthing and more. Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains are so thankful for the opportunity to collaborate with New Hampshire Motor Speedway, FIRST, New Hampshire Astronomical Society, and Lucy Weber from the New Hampshire House of Representatives.”
Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains has fully committed to bringing quality STEM programming to all parts of New Hampshire and Vermont, and just unveiled its new STEM on-the-go van last month. This vehicle will offer mobile broadband, a SmarTV monitor, Surface computer tablets, microscopes, a 3D printer, solar panels, and more. The council will provide this mobile teaching tool to Girl Scouts who don’t always have access to quality STEM programming.
Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) is one of the four pillars of the Girl Scout Experience, along with the outdoors, entrepreneurship, and life skills. Research shows that girls are keenly interested in STEM and excel at it, but they often don’t pursue their interests, starting as early as elementary school. Girl Scouting introduces girls of every age to different aspects of the STEM fields, and this mobile classroom will ensure that the more 10,000 girls the local council serves will have access to STEM and leadership programs no matter where they live or what their socio-economic status is.
About Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains: Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains is recognized throughout New Hampshire and Vermont as a leading expert on girls. Our Girl Scout Leadership Experience is a one-of-a-kind leadership development program for girls, with proven results. It is based on time-tested methods and research-backed programming that helps girls take the lead—in their own lives and in the world. Through our exciting and challenging programs, Girl Scouts not only participate but also take the lead in a range of activities—from kayaking, archery, and camping, to coding, robotics, financial literacy training, and beyond! Serving more than 10,000 girls throughout New Hampshire and Vermont, girls discover the fun, friendship, and power of girls together. Visit www.girlscoutsgwm.org.