Raising girls to be the innovators of tomorrow! There is no limit to how big a girl can dream when she’s a Girl Scout and thanks to a special partnership with civil engineering firm BHC Rhodes, girls are getting a unique STEM troop experience during the summer! The power of these partnerships is that they open a world of potential to girls at a young age. As engineer Katie Bushong said, “I hope [this program] can inspire other Girl Scout troops to partner with companies so the girls can gain exposure to other industries at a young age.”
This summer, Girl Scouts from around Kansas City joined a pop-up STEM group that visited BHC Rhodes and worked with staff to learn about engineering. Throughout the experience girls got a tour of the firm, learned what a surveyor does, engineered their own mini car, learned about concrete, fortified sand and other important materials in the engineering world. These hands-on experiences help girls learn about STEM careers and how they can thrive in the industry. “This was an opportunity for BHC Rhodes to partner with the Girl Scouts and show young girls what it is like to be an engineer,” Katie Bushong said.
The troop started with meeting the staff and touring the building. BHC Rhodes has a “no problems” philosophy, so they worked to instill that in the girls throughout the experience. They moved on to working on cars with different types of propellers, an activity which really made girls think outside the box! It ended with a fun race to see whose car could be the very best.
After learning about momentum, the next meeting was all about concrete! Girls learned the components of concrete, what makes it strong and even got to mix up their own batch. They used the concrete to create small concrete coasters with designs in the mold – so cool! A few meetings later, they popped the coasters out, sanded them and finished the bottoms with pads so they could be used on tables.
For their final meeting, the troop learned about fortified sand and got to play with water, sand and unexpected materials that make sand super strong! First they built normal sand castles, which would fall apart when little pressure was applied. Then they built castles again, but included layers of paper towel and cheesecloth to make the sand stronger. The girls put the 3 types to the test – regular, paper towel and cheesecloth – finding that the cheesecloth was the strongest. It was so strong the girls were able to push down quite hard on the castle without it breaking. What a cool activity!
Thanks to partnership like this, Girl Scouts are able to have experience they’re not able to get anywhere else! As Laura Bonar, talent development specialist at BHC Rhodes said, “we saw this as an opportunity to expand our reach with the youth and allow one of our summer interns a chance to create a program.” Building girls, businesses and our communities together – that’s the power of community partnerships. Together, we can build the STEM pipeline of the future. Learn more about STEM troops!