STEM Workshop

Blog Post by: Samantha Gibson, Communications Intern

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Who says Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are just for boys? Today’s world is widely influenced by these industries, but unfortunately most girls aren’t pursuing them. Girl Scouts has made a movement through S.T.E.M. workshops to introduce girls to the opportunities and role models in these specific fields. Are these workshops working? Well we heard straight from girls themselves!

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 More than 20 local girls attended the two day S.T.E.M. Careers workshop at Chevron in Bakersfield. The group of six seventh-grade girls experienced Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics through games, activities and guest speakers. They felt that learning about these fields is important for Girl Scouts because it encourages them to pursue better jobs and enter fields they previously didn’t know about. They discovered that there are a broad range of diverse careers for women in S.T.E.M. fields. An area they enjoyed learning about was the variety of engineering jobs available.  Overall, their favorite activities of the day were learning about the pharmaceutical industry by filling M&M “prescriptions” and creating a design for their very own website.

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 We encourage girls to take a step out of the box and experience the next S.T.E.M. workshop on Saturday December 1, in Bakersfield. The fun-filled day could lead your daughter to a more successful future!

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GIRLS WORLD FORUM 2012 – AN EXPERIENCE I’LL NEVER FORGET!

Written by: Allison Hollender, GSCCS Delegate to the Girls World Forum 2012,Chicago IL Allison is a presenter at the 2012 Women Inspiring Girls Luncheon in Bakersfield on October 5, 2012.

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It has been some time after the Girl’s World Forum in Chicago, and now I have had some time to digest the extreme amount of information that has been thrown at me during the week. The statistics, narratives, and ideas that were all delivered in discussions and presentations (while I was running purely on energy supplied by morning coffee and afternoon tea) can now be applied to my life and can now help me broaden my focus from myself and my community, to the globe.

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In one week, I was taught about the power we as Girl Scouts have when we work as individuals, when we come together as sisters, and in the simple ways we live our lives. I was reminded of just how small this world is, and the lives of people miles away can be identical to our own. The greatest part about the trip was the balance. I could spend a night with a group of girls laughing and talking about Justin Bieber’s hair, and I could also spend a morning discussing poverty with girls from India, Bangladesh, and Nepal.  Each day was important, and each day I learned more about this globe and myself than I could have imagined.

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7/11 Wednesday

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The first night is a blur. A swirl of names that I couldn’t pronounce, speeches by the President of Girl Scouts of the USA, Connie Lindsay, and the National CEO-Anna Maria Chavez, and SWAPs (Special Whatchamacallits Affectionately Pinned Somewhere). Lots of SWAPs!

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I did meet a group from Japan, who taught me a few different phrases in Japanese. And I taught them some American slang. I spent time with the two girls and their chaperone, Chieko, during a lot during the trip. Even though we didn’t speak the same language, and required a lot of translations, we could all still easily laugh together.

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7/12 Thursday

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The next day began bright and early, with an opening flag ceremony with a flag for every country that represents Girl Guiding and Scouting. Then we went right into our sessions, we broke out into different groups and would remain in those groups the entire week. Each group had a language focus, so the translators could stay with the girls- I was in the Arabic group. It was such a variety. On my left would be a girl from Turlock, California which is just a short drive away and on my right- a girl fromYemen, a long plane ride away. My group included girls from California, New York, Hungary, Texas, Yemen, India, Bangladesh, Maryland, Georgia, Antigua and Barbuda, all over the Middle East, and all over the rest of the world.

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The focus of our sessions was on understanding the eight Millennium Development Goals. They are goals set out by the United Nations to help eliminate global poverty by empowering global citizens, promoting health and education, and sustainably helping people and the environment. We also learned about organizations like Heifer International and The Girl Effect. I really recommend that you do a quick Google search and learn more about these two organizations and how they are working to end poverty by empowering women. The Girl Effect is designed to help girls stay in school to help break the cycle of child marriages and prostitution and Heifer International helping to empower women and their communities through education and business.

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Later that night we went on a double decker bus tour of Chicago, and got a chance to see all of the sites including Oprah’s house!! Afterwards I had a chance to walk to the city with a group of girls and their

three amazing chaperones and see the sites for myself. We had tea at Argo, a local tea shop that caters to Chicago’s coolest, and then ate popcorn at the Chicago’s famous Garrett’s. They have a Chicago blend which is cheddar cheese popcorn and caramel corn mixed together to form heaven. Afterwards we went to the famous

Millennium Park, and stumbled on a free symphony and then a show of Guys and Dolls. And lastly before our eleven o’clock curfew, we took touristy pictures under the famous Chicago Bean!

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7/13 Friday

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Friday began with a quick breakfast and a long bus ride to the Brookfield Zoo, the day was focused on environmental conservation and included three sessions about three of the largest global issues – deforestation, water conservation, and climate change. The most interesting thing was that most of our paper products (which is practically everything we use!) is logged illegally, and is causing severe deforestation in rainforests that are vital to our area. A simple thing that anyone can do is buy products that have an FSC label, which means they are certified and the paper products come from trees that are sustainably produced. Since coming home I have already encouraged my family to make the change and we now are using toilet paper and paper toilets that are FSC certified. (Just a hint, Starbucks uses cups that are FSC certified, an excuse for that morning latte!). After our sessions we were allowed to explore the zoo, and see all the animals.

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7/14 Saturday

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Saturday was all sessions, back to back to back. We covered women empowerment, self esteem, and political leadership in our daily lives. The session, How to Lead a Political Life by Erin Viardi was by far the most interesting (follow her on twitter, @ErinViardi!) she taught us that by being informed and passionate anyone can lead a political life.

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7/15 Sunday

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Sunday was back to the zoo! This time we helped to plant native grasses that would benefit the environment and the local area. We worked during the day to plant grasses and wildflowers, so if you ever go to the Brookfield Zoo, ask where the Girl Scouts planted grasses and they will take you there. The grass right now may not look like much, but soon it will be giant.

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Later that night, we all broke out into groups to go on a Scavenger Hunt throughoutChicago. We teamed up with a group fromIrelandand sang Camp Songs the ENTIRE time. We came back dead last, but we had the most fun! Afterwards, there was a giant party! Ice cream, sumo wrestling, crazy pictures, and dancing! It was so much fun, I loved to see girls from around the world dancing to Miley Cyrus or old eighties tunes.

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I was so privileged to represent the girls in our area, and I hope I did them all justice. I learned so much, I want to bring that back to our valley and help to change some of our community’s greatest problems. This experience has changed me as a person and opened my eyes to a world so much bigger than myself.

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Gold Award Winners honored at Clovis Hall of Fame

Gold Award honorees, Nicole and Andrea, were recognized recently at the 2012 Clovis Hall of Fame. Nicole’s Gold Award project in 2011 provide the history of World War II internment camps in California, while Andrea’s project in 2010 was A Summer Full of Food. They were joined by Girl Scouts Hannah and Lidia, who handed out flowers to the ladies who attended this commemorative event.

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Nicole has recently graduated from Clovis West High School and is planning on attending California State University, Fresno in the Fall (2012) as a biology major going into the medical field. She received her Gold Award in 2011 for her project inspired by her Grandfather’s experiences during WWII as a member of the most decorated regiment for the United States Army. When Nicole found out her grandfather had been in a Japanese Internment Camp during World War II , she decided to pursue her Gold Award on the subject. Nicole set out on a mission to inform people about the true story and set the record straight while telling her grandfather’s story, including making presentations to Junior High School and many others. Eventually her grandfather’s story will join others in a compilation of historical experiences of the Japanese People and American Society. These stories will not be lost with past but will be maintained for generations to come.

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Andrea graduated from Clovis West in 2010 and was awarded her Girl Scout Gold Award the same year for her Summer Full of Food project. Andrea started Girl Scouts as a Daisy when she was in kindergarten and she is now in her 15th year involved with the organization. Andrea is still in college – she just finished 2 years at the Willow International Center and in the Fall is transferring to Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio where her major will be middle childhood math and science education. Andrea’s hope is to teach middle school math. She first discovered her love of teaching others through working with younger Girl Scouts. Andrea did her Gold Award project with Molly Fredle. The girls felt it was important to raise awareness about the decline of donations to Food Banks in the summer time and decided to have a special summer long food drive. By involving local news and radio, they planned eight food drives and collected non-perishable food items and canned foods by inspiring others to donate, and helping them realize that giving food all year long is important.

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Girl Scout living out her dream

Ever since I was in third grade, I have been enchanted by astronomy and space travel, starting when I won my very first telescope at a local Girl Scout Astronomy Day. Ever since I have done all I can to spread my enthusiasm about space. I have ran numerous Astronomy and Aerospace badge workshops and have seen my passion pass on to some of these little girls. I even did my Gold Award project to raise awareness of light pollution, the haze that keeps Bakersfield from seeing the beautiful night sky. I love astronomy so much that I have planned to create a career out of my passion. I just attended my first year at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, AZ. I have  fallen head over heels for this school. This school specializes in aviation and space-oriented careers and seems like the perfect fit for me.  I plan to major in Aerospace Engineering and Astrophysics, and my dream is to help aid the private industry in space travel. My plan is to help build the rocket and possibly get a ride as the mechanic on the first expedition to Mars. I’m very excited for my future doing what I love!

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~Ashely Loyd

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“I used what they taught us in Girl Scouts about public speaking”

I wanted to share an observation that Hailey, my 16 year old Senior Girl Scout, made one night as she was preparing to give a four-minute persuasive speech to her 10th grade English class. She had about a page and a half of material to present and she asked me if I thought that would be enough to talk for four minutes. I told her I didn’t think so, that she might need more material. She returned a while later with a triumphant look on her face and showed me the timer on her phone which read 3 min. 59 sec, and said, “Look, it’s almost exactly four minutes. Want to hear it?” I said sure and she launched into a confident, animated, measured speech promoting the continuation of space exploration. I told her it sounded great. She said, “Yep! I used what they taught us in Girl Scouts about public speaking!” Girl Scouts has really added a lot to Hailey’s “self.”

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~Eileen Swift

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Girl Scouting is more than just cookies

For various reasons, I believe Girl Scouts is a good experience for all girls. Some people may disagree because they think Girl Scouting is just about selling cookies. But there is more to this organization that benefits girls. Girl Scouts teaches marketing and business skills. Second, girls learn how to build confidence and courage in reaching their goals. Finally, the most important reason is girls learn how to socially and environmentally impact our world to make it a better place. Consequently, I will argue that Girl Scouts benefits girls their entire life.

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Girls learn the use of business and marketing skills by finding ways to market their cookies, nuts, and magazines, dealing with orders, handling money, setting up booths and providing customer service.  For example, my friends and I made a song that helped us catch the attention of customers and we sold more cookies. Girls have to budget the money they earn and decide what they can and cannot afford. For instance, my troop and I wanted to go to Disneyland so we had to calculate all the money it would take to go. We looked at how much we already had, factored in known expenses for the year, and then determined how much more we had to raise. These skills taught us what we need to know in order to do some of the things we enjoy.

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Most people will never get very far, and have few achievements without believing in themselves or having courage and confidence. This is what the Girl Scout program gives each girl.  For example, many women who were former Girl Scouts have gone into successful careers in politics, science, and technology, and aerospace because they were confident that they could make it.  Kay Bailey Hutchison is a terrific example. A former Girl Scout, she followed her dreams and became a senator. When people have no belief in themselves, they miss out and don’t achieve their goals. When, after saving and months of planning, my troop and I went horseback riding, a girl was terrified on the horse. If she had given up she would have missed out. In fact, after riding for a few minutes she calmed down, had tons of fun, and wants to go again. So, with courage and confidence a person can accomplish anything.

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 Third, girls will be able to impact the world using social and environmental skills. Girls help to make a difference locally and globally. For instance, my local Council helped in the fight against Malaria Globally by sending bed nets and water purifiers to South Africa.  Next, my troop and two others made a difference locally with picking up litter. We went up to Kings Canyon and in two hours removed litter from a sledding area that would have taken a single Ranger one month to remove. Additionally, my troop made bread for the Poverello house that benefits the homeless in Fresno County. Therefore, girls all around the world help to make a difference by getting involved in their communities.

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Consequently, it is my belief that Girl Scouts is the experience of a lifetime.  Naysayers that say it is just about selling cookies are not looking at the whole organization. Selling cookies is only part of the program, it is the lessons being learned that teach lifelong skills. If only the naysayers looked past the cookie sales they  too could see and believe in the good of Girl Scouting. All the lessons taught and learned by the girls of today, will allow them to become tomorrow’s leaders.

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~Treasa

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