STEM-tastic Leadership

 

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Spotlight on Troop 4115

We’re hearing more and more that what troop leaders and girls like the most about being a Girl Scout is that they can tailor the experience to meet their own interests. This couldn’t be truer for Troop 4115 in Kansas City, MO. These Girl Scout Brownies area all about everythingSTEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)!

Co-leader Linda Langer has an awesome group of 11 future scientists, veterinarians, marine biologists, engineers and more! “There isn’t a single girl who isn’t interested in science or math; they bring up their future careers a lot and they want to try everything,” she explained.

 

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At the beginning of the year, Linda and her co-leader let the girls pick out the badges that they wanted to work on, then the girls select which badge program they want to lead for their troop. While each girl selected a variety of badges, every single one of the picked the Home Scientist badge and consequently, every single one wanted to lead that program!

Luckily, Linda found a community partner to lead the steps in earning that Home Scientist badge, so she didn’t have to choose just one girl to lead that program! In fact, Linda uses community partners a lot to fill in the gaps when it comes to badge work.  “Community programs are invaluable, they give you break from having to teach each badge and they also have the resources that would take me a lot of work to just put together.”

You might imagine that each of the girls were a little disappointed that they weren’t selected to lead that badge program. So when an opportunity to lead a STEM station for Daisies and Brownies at a service unit event came up, Linda presented it to her troop and they unanimously agreed to step up and help out!

The girls split into six groups, chose a science concept and had to do 3 things –

  1. teach a concept in less than 5 minutes for girls 8 and under,
  2. have a visual demonstration – a 3 part board, and
  3. lead a hands-on experiment

Some of the sub-stations included a lesson on DNA and phases of the moon!

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Linda knows that experiences like this are invaluable. “It makes them great leaders, and it makes them teachable. If they have to teach then they become more teachable.”

The girls in Troop 4115 have been together since Kindergarten and will be bridging to Juniors at the end of this year. Linda loves seeing firsthand the courage, confidence, and character that her girls have developed through being Girl Scouts. One of her favorite memories is from attending a school play when they were in first grade and seeing that 9 of 13 girls on stage were her Girl Scouts.

 

“Girl Scouts has evolved. When parents come and say they want to do Girl Scouts, I ask them if they like to camp and do science experiments because this is what Girl Scouts look like now. It’s a much more hands on, practical opportunity than it might be perceived.”

collage3Troop 4115 exemplifies what we want for troops across our council. Girl Scouting can be flexible and fit the interests of all girls. How does your troop tailor program activities and badge earning? Share your thoughts in the comments below. Do you know a troop that we should spotlight for their creativity and innovation? Let us know.

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