We are Girl Scouts, We are Innovators – Cookie Construction Build Day 2017

For the past six months, nearly 100 Girl Scout Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors have been working alongside 30 female design mentors to plan and build a structure made out of 1,000 Girl Scout Cookie boxes! On Saturday, March 4, our seven Cookie Construction teams came together to execute their plans and finally assemble their structure at Build Day at Crown Center!

With a theme of “We are Girl Scouts, We are Innovators,” the teams had an 8×8 space and four and a half hours to bring their plans to life! At the conclusion of the build each structure was evaluated by a panel of jurors who assessed the builds based on Creativity in Design, Structural Design, Use of Colors/Labels, Craftsmanship and Adherence to Rules & Regulations.

Alpha Builders – Project: Construct the World

Our creation mimics an iconic symbol of the Girl Scouts—a trefoil—and documents innovation and its connection to the organization. This design explores women in STEAM (Science, Technology,

Engineering, Arts, and Math) fields who are trailblazing, like a Girl Scout, through the industry. We are understanding history and what’s innovative for its time and why. We are propelling girls forward and deconstructing the walls that limit them!


Butterfly Dream Squad – The Dream Factory

Welcome to the dream factory, where ideas are born, nurtured, signed, sealed, and delivered!

The seedlings of innovation begin from sources of imagination within each of us. Whether it be a

philosophy, a technology, an invention, an organization, or just a great idea, they all traveled out

of a noggin or two and into the world. Wishing we could see this place, the dream squad presents “The Dream Factory,” an incubator for innovations to foster and grow before global distribution.

Gear Girls – One Tree at a Time

Innovation means many different things, but usually it refers to new technologies. Our team chose to focus on finding ways to improve our environment. We have designed robots with the ability to plant and care for trees. The trees around us are essential to all creatures and are the environmental frontline for improving every person’s lives. Using only the 5 different colors of cookie boxes we have created a 3D representation of what the future could be. These robots are not limited to a specific area and they can have a lasting impact on the entire world. We have designed one robot specifically to plant trees. The next robot takes care of the nutritional needs of the trees, including all species. Finally we have a robot doctor that visits regularly to check up on insect or storm damage and ensure the trees overall health. These robots are helping the world one tree at a time.



STEAM Team – A Girl Scout’s Dream of a Career in STEAM

We designed a Girl Scout that is dreaming about her future in a STEAM related career. She doesn’t know if she wants to be a Scientist, work in IT, be an Engineer, become an Artist or a Mathematician. No matter what career she decides to pursue, she knows that Girl Scouts has given her a foundation to be an innovator in any field she chooses. We chose this subject because our team is inspired by what STEAM stands for and all the women innovators of the past and present.


Time Keepers – A Bridge Through Time

A Bridge Through Time represents the way life has changed because of innovators. As you journey through the past, you realize the difference one small change can make. Past innovators created huge changes in the way we live today. The bridge takes us from one point in time to another. Walking up the steps, you realize all the accomplishments that have come this far. Reaching the top, you realize there is more to come. Sliding down, you see tall skyscrapers and flying cars; the sky is the limit! We can change the world. We are Girl Scouts! We are Innovators!


Time Travelers – Takin’ it to the (Downtown) Streets

 Our group wanted to focus on the transformation, but iconic transportation in downtown Kansas City through the years. We chose the trolley (from the past) and the new KC Streetcar. Union Station is our centerpiece because it is a hub for all sorts of transportation in and out of Kansas City from both the past and the present. Union Station, the trolley and the streetcar are all innovative pieces to their era thus what we chose as our overlying design to match the theme, “We are Girl Scouts, We are Innovators.” The two eras of transportation, the trolley on one side, and the streetcar on the other are joined by Union Station because of its importance to transportation as well as the transformation of Kansas City through the years.


TL² – Innovation Manor

Our project represents a house where Girl Scouts can design and invent freely. We decided to build a house because a lot of space and millions of innovations are found in homes. We decided to include some notable inventions, such as the lightbulb, the spectacles and the microscope. We poured all of our creativity into our thinking caps and developed some inventions that could be made in the future – for instance, a cookie spitter and badge designer. Our building structure consists of three floors with a loft on the third floor. We wanted to section off part of the house and commit it to just making innovations, so that is where we came up with the idea for an innovation lab as the loft. We are using ladders to get from level to level in our house, which are supported by the exterior walls and structural columns. The roof will be a rooftop garden which will have solar panels to provide power for Innovation Manor. This build means a lot to us as Girl Scouts so we have created a mural in the back of the house representing Girl Scout History and Juliette Gordon Low, the founder.

Ultimately, STEAM Team was given the Jurors’ Choice Award! The jurors loved their bold use of color, found their craftsmanship impeccable and were impressed by their innovative use of materials creating the head of a young girl who dreams of a career in STEAM!

Thank you to our Jurors, Ellen Foster, Angie Gaebler, Mike Gekas, Al Harris, Molly Simmons and our event Emcee Amy Slattery!

The awards aren’t done yet; you can still cast your ballot for People’s Choice Award! Visit Crown Center and see these impressive builds yourself and vote for your favorite structure through March 24!

The 2017 Cookie Construction Program is a partnership with AIA Kansas City and made possible with the support of McCownGordon Construction, HOK, Centric Projects, Mark One Electric Co. and SFS Architecture.

Want to see more? We have photos from Build Day on our Facebook Page. Want to participate?! Registration for 2017-2018 will open this summer!

We are Girl Scouts, We are Innovators – Part 1

Spotlight on 2017 Cookie Construction Teams

The 3rd Annual Cookie Construction program is in full swing! The seven teams are having their final meetings and preparing for Build Day on March 4 at Crown Center when all their planning comes to fruition, each team transforming 1,000 Girl Scout Cookie boxes into intricate, elaborate and structurally sound constructions!

This year’s theme is We are Girl Scouts. We are Innovators. Each team spent their first meeting in September talking about what innovation means to them as young women and as Girl Scouts.  Over the past month, we’ve been visiting with each of the teams to see how their initial concepts have transformed to visions and building plans leading into Build Day!

Team Time Travelers

Team Time Travelers are being led by mentors Marcia Trein, Erin McFarland and Mary Rogers from Rosemann & Associates and Emily Gale and Amy Kinderknecht from GastingerWalker&. When we caught up with them at the beginning of January, they were beginning to lay out their design and were finalizing their construction documents that the judges will use to assess their creations on Build Day! They took the theme and really thought about how innovation has evolved over time and are incorporating aspects of Kansas City into their build! “We wanted to make it something about Kansas City because we’re all from Kansas City and it will be displayed at Crown Cener,” Girl Scout Cadette Emily Stokes said!

Team Time Keepers

Similar in name, but different in design concept is Team Time Keepers led by female design professionals Ivy Hurst, Sara Lichti, Brittany Winnike, Kelly Neiling and Meredith Stoll from BRR Architecture! Team Time Keepers has a few Cookie Construction professionals, Girl Scouts who have been participating since the program’s inception in 2014. For these girls, they really thought about how innovation bridges the past to the future and what that means to each of them. They separated into sub-teams working on different elements (and there are many!) of their overall teams design concept. “It’s fun to be a part of team. At the end we’re going to have this awesome project and it’s been way cooler than I ever imagined,” Girl Scout Cadette Briana Brewood said.

Team Alpha Builders

Team Alpha Builders also has an experienced Cookie Construction Girl Scout on their team along with some veteran mentors! Girl Scout Senior Alyssa Harmon loved her experience so much last year, she just had to do it again – working with mentors she grew close to last year. Alison Lampier, Macrina Abdouch and Natalie Berg are once again bringing their knowledge and expertise from HOK Architecture and Populous and recruiting a new mentor, Renee Petty to join them in the fun! “I was a mentor last year as well and from that it was really great to see young girls wanting to get involved in programs that had to do with architecture. There wasn’t an opportunity like this for me when I was a Girl Scout so I wanted to get involved in order to share information with young girls about this field,” Macrina said.

“These mentors are amazing, they’re so smart,” Alyssa said! Alyssa sees herself as a “moderator” on the team, helping direct dialogue, leading brainstorming sessions and bringing the team’s design to life using a computer program called Sketchup. Their design really shows the Girl Scout spirit and will showcase various influential women in innovation!

Team Gear Girls

When Gear Girls first heard the theme, they all had one thought – robots. Since that initial meeting in September they been working to understand and expand on that design element. Kate Moeder, Shelli Ulmer, Ashley Meadows and Damaris Russell from Hollis and Miller Architects have been leading their team to expand that idea robots and their relationship to innovation. On their team are an aspiring structural engineer and interior designer who both feel like they’ve gotten so much out of their Cookie Construction experience already. For Girl Scout Cadette Sophia Fisher Cookie Construction is a way for her to gain real-life experience in the field that she aspires to be in when she gets older. “It’s a start for me to learn how to actually build things,” she explained. Working as a team, with Girl Scouts of all ages, levels and Cookie Construction expertise on their team, Gear Girls they have been able to take their robotics design idea and are well on their way to a multi-element design and structure on Build Day.

Look for the second part of this story on Feb. 23 when we bring you highlights from the final three teams! The seven structures will be on display at Crown Center from March 4 – 24 and we need YOU to visit and cast your ballot for People’s Choice Award!

The 2017 Cookie Construction Program is a partnership with AIA Kansas City and made possible with the support of McCownGordon Construction, Centric Projects, Mark One Electric Co. and SFS Architecture.

A Look Inside Cookie Construction: Team Top City


Cookie Construction 2016 is well underway! Teams are meeting, trying out ideas and learning tricks of the trade when it comes to designing buildings…out of Girl Scout Cookie boxes!

We caught up with Team Top City who is working in Topeka, Kansas with mentors Resa Kemper, Jacquelyn Rakoski-Diediker and Mariah Scott.

These mentors are volunteering their time to expose Cadette, Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts to the build world. While the mentors are participating in the program for the first time this year, they have some Cookie Construction veterans on their team.

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Sarah C. participated last year, and the program left her yearning for more.

“I learned a lot about architecture and I’ve decided I want to be an engineer when I grow up,” Sarah said

According to James, Sarah’s dad, she is really interested in the STEM programming through Girl Scouts.

“Sarah likes the social aspects of Girl scouts but she is hungriest for additional academic and intellectual stimulation. She is fascinated by that stuff so the opportunities for technical information and hands-on activities really interest her,” James said.

Sarah is taking her idea digitally and building it in Sketchup!

Sarah is taking her idea digitally and building it in Sketchup!

Of course the mentors hope that more girls will have a career discovery like Sarah, but that’s not their ultimate goal.

“No matter what they want to do when they grow up, I want to help empower them to know they can become amazing at it,” Resa said.

Mentor and Girl Scout Alumna Jackie sees how being on a Cookie Construction team benefits girls beyond the built world. “I hope that the girls learn how to be an integral part of a large team and about compromising for the benefit of the entire group,” she said.

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Resa shows girls drawings of some projects shes worked on!

This year’s theme for Cookie Construction is Dream. Design. Do. Outdoor Adventure.

Each meeting, 10+ team members are coming to the table with tons of great ideas of how to create a structure out of cookie boxes that fit the theme. As in any situation, it’s tough to incorporate them all into one design. The mentors work with their team to discuss each idea and guide the group to make a collective decision on these design details. But ultimately, it’s the girls’ decision.

Team mentor Mariah is looking forward to seeing it all come together. “In all likely hood that won’t happen until build day, but it is always fascinating to see things come together and see where assumptions were right, and where they weren’t,” she said.

So what exactly does Team Top City plan to build? Well, we can’t tell you, it’s top secret. You’ll have to join us at Crown Center on March 5 for Build Day, when all 7 teams will build their structures using Girl Scout Cookie boxes!

Anna is sketching out some of her design ideas onto grid paper - getting an idea for the scale of the structure they are building!

Anna is sketching out some of her design ideas onto grid paper – getting an idea for the scale of the structure they are building!

Follow Top City and the other teams along on their Cookie Construction journey – we’ll be bringing you stories from each of the teams on the blog as we lead up to the culminating event, Build Day!

Don’t forget to join in on the conversation using #GSCookieBuild!

Cookie Construction 2016: Dream. Design. Do. Outdoor Adventure.



100 Girl Scouts


30 female design professionals


7,000 (empty) boxes of Girl Scout Cookies


2nd Annual Cookie Construction!

This year’s theme is Dream. Design. Do. Outdoor Adventure. For the next five months, Girl Scout Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors will work in seven teams alongside volunteer female design professionals to create three-dimensional structures out of Girl Scout Cookie boxes incorporating the theme. Their work will culminate with Build Day on March 5 at Crown Center where each team will construct their designs to be critiqued by a panel of judges!

Cookie Construction is a collaboration between The American Institute of Architects Kansas City (AIA Kansas City), Women in Design Kansas City (WiD-KC) and Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri and was inspired by a similar partnership between Girl Scouts of North Texas and AIA Dallas.

Our Girl Scouts are working with the best of the best in the field. The 30 female mentors are respected professionals and accomplished architects, interior architects and design professionals in the community. Research tells us when girls see females in their professions, they are more likely to consider them as viable careers for themselves.

While the Cookie Construction is exposing girls to careers in architecture and design and teaching them soft skills, the mentors are also learning their fair share!

“We’re fostering leadership in the girls, but were also fostering leadership within our design community,” Samantha McCloud, Architect at GastingerWalker, AIA Kansas City Associate Director and WiD-KC Chair explained. “Participating in activities like Cookie Construction as young professionals makes it more likely we’ll continue volunteering and giving back the rest of our lives.”

AIA Kansas City is excited to give its members another way to get involved in the community.

“It was a natural fit to partner with Girl Scouts to expose young women to these careers; girls need to see successful women like this,” Tiffany, AIA Kansas City Deputy Director said.

Some of the projects females at the participating firms have worked on include the Kansas City Museum, Roasterie Café, Lakeside Nature Center (International Architects Atelier), Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco, Arizona State University Stadium and the University of Kentucky Stadium (HNTB), just to name a few.

“We’re creating awareness for the design field, girls are seeing these buildings and remembering that a woman played a role in building it,” Tori Jacquio, WiD-KC board member said.

Going into the second year Tiffany, Sam and Tori are now seeing the lasting impact this program has on girls. Those who were shy and timid on their teams last year have found their creative voices and are stepping up as leaders on the teams this year.

We can’t wait to see what these teams create on Build Day!

Thank you to the mentors and their architecture and design firms for helping build girls of courage, confidence, and character!


Macrina Abdouch Architect Designer HOK
Elizabeth Amirahmadi Principal Architect International Architects
Claire Ashbrook Architect Strata
Natalie Berg Interior arch/graphic design HOK
Emily Brown Construction Management McCownGordon Construction
Laura Beth Cochran Architect Designer Momenta
Trudy Faulkner Princial Architect Strata
Natalie Gillaspie Interior Designer Momenta
Lauren Harness Architect Designer El Dorado
Sarah Hunting Engineer KH Engineering Group
Erin Hylton Architect Designer International Architects
Tori Jarquio Interior Architect MM Property management
Snehal Kadam Engineer HNTB
Resa Kemper Architect Tevis Architects
Alison Lampier Architect Designer HOK
Sarah Masalskis Interior Architect HNTB
Kate Moeder Interior Architect Hollis & Miller
Erin Mumm Architect Designer International Architects
Megan Pfau Interior Architect HNTB
Jamie Picow Interior Designer DineEquity, Inc.
Jacquelyn Rakoski-Diediker Architect Designer Architect One
Harsha Royyuru Architect Designer HOK
Mariah Scott Architect Designer Treanor
Ashley Simpson Architect Designer HNTB
Molly Smith Interior Architect HNTB
Laura Stockdell Design Engineer Atlantic Engineering
Jaimie Swanepoel Design Engineer Atlantic Engineering
Jessica Symons Architect Designer Treanor KC
Emily Tilgner Engineer McCownGordon Construction

Follow the progress right here on the GSKSMO Blog and through our social media #gscookiebuild