Monday, August 11, 2014

Portsmouth Girl Scouts Gearing Up for a Year of STEM Learning

Some of the newest Girl Scouts in Portsmouth have had a busy summer preparing for all of the fun and adventure they're planning for the upcoming year. The girls, who are members of Girl Scout Troop 5782 in the Cross Creek community in Portsmouth, have been meeting twice a month over the summer to get to know one another through fun games, crafts and activities.

So far this summer, the girls have started learning the Girl Scout Promise and Law, which are guiding principles that outline the way Girl Scouts agree to act towards others. Together, they talk about what it means to be friendly, helpful, respectful, considerate and courageous—values stated in the Girl Scout Law. The girls have also been preparing for a big trip at the end of the summer to Busch Gardens to participate in ThrillBuilders, a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program that introduces girls to simple machines and physics concepts. The trip to Busch Gardens is designed to provide girls with firsthand experiences in STEM to build on their interests and encourage them to consider careers in the STEM fields.

Girl Scout Troop 5782
“I see the value in Girl Scouting for my daughters and the other girls in the community,” K-shau-ta Trotter, the volunteer leader of Troop 5782 said. “I know that I can be a role model for these girls and help give them a positive activity to participate in outside of school.”

This fall, the girls will also be attending Science Alive, an annual event held co-hosted by Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast and Norfolk State University, where girls will participate in sessions led by Norfolk State University faculty and students that cover a range of topics, including engineering, chemistry, medicine, biology and physics.

In today’s world, less than 30 percent of STEM careers are held by women, and it is more important than ever to expose girls to a world of possibilities for their future. Through activities such as ThrillBuilders and Science Alive, Girl Scouts allows girls to discover what they are capable of, connect with one another and learn teamwork skills and take action to become resourceful problem solvers. Girl Scouts delivers these opportunities in a comfortable, all-girl environment where girls are more likely to ask questions, try new things and take risks without having to worry about fitting into stereotypes and gender roles they may encounter at school.

The troop members are also looking forward to getting involved in their community by participating in flag ceremonies and service projects, as well as honing their financial literacy skills to participate in the 2015 Girl Scout Cookie Program.

The Girl Scout troop in Cross Creek, as well as a sister troop that is forming in Ansell Gardens, was made possible through a $10,000 grant from the Beazley Foundation. The grant will continue to help fund troop activities, as well as ensure that the girls have program resources and official uniforms.