By: Kevin Grondahl
November was a busy month for the NEW Early this November, the Girl Scouts of the Western Great Lakes Council hosted a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) event to highlight a series of new badges released this past summer. This science fair themed event was a series of 12 different booths. Each booth focused on an activity directly from the STEM badges the girls could work toward within their troop.
Many people think of STEM as expensive, highly technical, and complicated. This event was designed to help people better understand these statements are not entirely true. The “S” in STEM does not mean “Scary”. Topics such as: Space, Programming, Cyber Security, Engineering, and Robotics activities were highlighted. Paper, markers, tape, and items from the recycling bin were used for the different activities to help show how cost effective these projects are. Finally, the concepts were shown in a way that is understandable to all ages and abilities.
The mechanical engineering booth focused on an activity that looked at resistance. The activity was to design different vehicles and test them on a ramp to see how fast or slow the vehicle traveled. The supplies were items you would find in a recycle bin, wooden dowels, and tape. As a result, a simple way was shown how the girls can test the resistance different vehicle in a fun and simple way.
This event could not have happened without the help of a great group of volunteers. A total of 14 volunteers helped put on this event. Students and Staff from Fox Valley Technical College, Women in Technology, and other IT Professionals helped run the booths, but also talked about what they did professionally. Through this event, over 60 adults and their Girl Scout Guest learned about the badges. Plus, a new batch of Girl Scouts are excited to earn STEM badges and learned more about the possibilities they can achieve in their future careers in the sciences.