Shelby County area Girl Scouts learn engineering with LEGOs

FROM STAFF REPORTS

Columbiana and Sterrett-area Girl Scouts were roller coaster engineers for a day, thanks to a collaboration between LEGO and Girl Scouts of the USA.

At the Build a Roller Coaster Adventure event at the Hoover LEGO store Sunday, Girl Scout Daisies from Columbiana Troop 30564 and Sterrett Troop 30931 (kindergarteners and first graders) earned mechanical engineering badges. The Girl Scouts built cars out of LEGO pieces, then tested their prototypes on ramps of different heights to see if they rolled without falling off, and for how far. Then they went back to the design table, perfecting their designs like real engineers and inventors. By the end of the event, the girls learned about engineering, motion and gravity and had earned their Daisy Roller Coaster Design Challenge badge. LEGO employees facilitated the event.

With this collaboration, Girl Scouts and LEGO hope to inspire the female STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) leaders of tomorrow. This pilot event focused on kindergarteners and first graders to pique their interest in STEM subjects at a critical time in their development.

According to Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., research shows that girls are keenly interested in STEM and excel at it, yet for a variety of reasons, often don’t pursue STEM—starting as early as elementary school. But according to the Girl Scouts Research Institute, Girl Scouts are more likely than non-Girl Scouts to participate in a STEM activity and to pursue a career in STEM.

“At Girl Scouts, girls learn how they can use STEM to help their community, improve their world, and build the future,” said Karen Peterlin, CEO of Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama. “And they do all this through hands-on learning in a girl-focused, girl-led environment.”

Just this summer, Girl Scouts released 30 new STEM-related badges. Now girls from kindergarten through senior year of high school can earn badges such as Robotics, Coding for Good, and Cybersecurity, and can complete the Computer Science, Engineering, and Outdoor STEM Journeys.

About Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama

We’re over 13,800 strong—close to 10,000 girls and over 3,800 adults in 36 counties in the state of Alabama who believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, and Leader) to change the world. Our extraordinary journey began more than 100 years ago with the original G.I.R.L., Juliette Gordon “Daisy” Low. On March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Georgia, she organized the very first Girl Scout troop, and every year since, we’ve honored her vision and legacy, building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. We’re the preeminent leadership development organization for girls and offer every girl a chance to practice a lifetime of leadership, adventure, and success. Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama is a United Way partner. To volunteer, reconnect, donate or join, visit Girlscoutsnca.org or call 800-734-4541.