Posts Tagged ‘Technology’

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Gadget Girls Put the “Go-Getter” in G.I.R.L. Robotics!

November 6, 2017

Girl Scouts_GadgetGirls

By Meridith Orr, Program Executive

Whether it’s trekking across the globe or enjoying the outdoor life by the camp fire, Girl Scouts provides unique troop experiences that help girls explore their interests in a safe space.  These specialty troop experiences include delving into the world of science and technology.  Here at Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines, girls have embraced robotics as a means of having fun while developing skills to help them be ultra-competitive in the 21st century marketplace.

Our very own Gadget Girls have been Go-Getters in the robotics space since joining FIRST Robotics more than five years ago. One of only two all-girls teams in the state of North Carolina, the Gadget Girls welcomed middle- and high-school age girls from multiple counties including Wake, Franklin and Edgecombe to build lawn mower-sized machines capable of launching Frisbees, moving large crates, surmounting castle defenses and this year, placing large rotor gears on a “steam-powered” airship!

“In Gadget Girls, our Girl Scouts learn real-life engineering skills,” said Michaela Settle, the Gadget Girls’ coach and an alumna of our own FIRST robotics programs.  “In working the challenge they kind of get tricked into learning important science, engineering and math by having fun, and they start to see why those subjects are important.”

Michaela’s mom Becky helps mentor the team and maintains the meeting and competition schedule for the Gadget Girls.  She saw first-hand how the program helped her girls become confident and interested in science.  Her youngest daughter, Alex, served a leadership role on the Gadget Girls team last season and now that she has graduated high school, will attend UNC-Greensboro to major in Biology.

“Robotics looks really good on college applications,” Becky told parents at a recent Gadget Girls interest meeting. “Plus, these girls get to work with mentors who are professionals in their field, so it helps them figure out what they might like to do later in life.”

As a Girl Scout team, the Gadget Girls have integrated our Girl Scout culture into their robot’s design as well as the team’s overall aesthetics and branding.  The team wears green t-shirts with their custom-designed “cookie monster” logo, incorporate cookie boxes into the robot’s appearance and use cookie cases to form the walls of their mechanical pit area at competitions.  Pink hard hats (worn by both mentors and girls) as well as pink and green tulle tu-tus also help make the Gadget Girls stand out in the FIRST North Carolina organization!  Last year, the team won the FIRST Imagery Award twice in recognition of their design savvy.

With the new season approaching in January, the Gadget Girls are looking for girls to join in on the fun.  Interested Girl Scouts can expect to gain valuable skills in mechanical and electrical engineering, programming, marketing, design, business, teamwork, and leadership.   They’ll gain all sorts of knowledge from industry professionals while making new friends and tons of fun memories.  How cool is that?

To find out more, contact Meridith Orr, Program Executive (morr@nccoastalpines.org).

 

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Fostering the Next Generation of STEM Women through Girl Scouting

July 18, 2016

STEM

By Meridith Orr, Program Executive

Studies of women and girls’ participation in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education and careers is making headlines. Recently a story on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition explored how having so few women enrolled in STEM majors in college actually creates fewer opportunities for young women to feel confident in pursuing a STEM-related career.

The reason? A study at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst found that women who participate in STEM groups alongside other women feel more confident, energized and interested in pursuing a STEM career than in settings when they are the only woman in a group or in the minority.

In “Generation STEM: What Girls Say about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math,” the Girl Scout Research Institute found that “girls who are interested in STEM are high achievers who have supportive adult networks and are exposed to STEM fields.” The report also found that many girls want to make a difference in the world and want to help people, yet they might not consider careers that use science and technology with the potential to change the way things are done, leading to change that helps people or improves the world.

More education is needed to help girls see that STEM careers can enable them to achieve their goals to help and serve. That’s where Girl Scouts can help! In a safe, all-girl setting, Girl Scouts of all ages have an ideal space in which to try science and engineering activities that they might not otherwise have attempted. Tips written especially for girls who may be thinking about STEM can be found here on our national web site.

Whether you’re a STEM professional or not, you, our amazing volunteers, can make all the difference for our girls! Encourage girls to pursue thought-provoking, educational opportunities such as our own Summer Science Camp, our TechnoQuest career mentoring days, and hands-on exploration events at museums, robotics and other activities leading to STEM-related badges.  Simply with your encouragement, you can plant the seeds to grow the next generation of STEM women professionals! To learn more about opportunities we offer, visit the Events Calendar on our website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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