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Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Grace Dorgan, Golden, “The Nature Now Project”

Grace Dorgan

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award, I addressed the need for free, natural science curricula that gets kids outdoors to foster a love of nature and science.  I designed a free, hands-on natural science curriculum for elementary aged students that can be taught anywhere by anyone.  I taught this program to urban, underserved, minority students in Denver. I put together an in-depth manual that included all lessons, learning objectives, worksheets, visuals and teaching suggestions. I then created a website for the curriculum where the manual is posted so that anyone, anywhere can access and teach it.

How did you measure the impact your Gold Award project made on your target audience?

I taught the program to second graders over a time frame of six weeks.  Before I began the program, I surveyed students, asking them to rate their knowledge on topics to be covered, as well as their personal feelings towards science, as one of my goals was to encourage an interest in science.  Very few students reported liking science or picturing themselves as scientists in the future.  After teaching the program, I surveyed them again and found that every child understood the main ideas taught and almost every child now reported loving science and could easily picture themselves as scientists in the future.

How is your project sustainable? How will your project continue to impact after your involvement?

My program will continue to be taught at Horizons at Colorado Academy, a six-week long summer program serving underprivileged children from Denver that transforms the way students see themselves and their future, while also improving their reading and math skills significantly.  In addition, I made a digital manual and hosted it online on a website I created so that instructors anywhere could access and teach the program.

What is your project’s global and/or national connection?

By creating a website I have put my curriculum on the internet, which allows anyone in the world to access it.  A fun, free, outdoor science curriculum is something that many people all over the world need, and with this extra education, the same kids will grow up to be conscious and contributing global citizens.

What did you learn about yourself?

Throughout the project I had a lot of people who volunteered to work with me.  Without them I never would have finished this project, and I never would have developed the leadership skills I did.  I learned to rely on myself as a project coordinator, and I learned that I possess the perseverance necessary to see such a long term project to completion.

How will earning your Gold Award impact you in the future?

I will absolutely be using my new found skills of public speaking, project management, and communication in my future, whether in college or the workforce.  I also have new confidence in myself that I can accomplish something meaningful.

Why do you feel the Gold Award was an important part of your Girl Scout experience?

This project was the culmination of all the skills I have learned in 10 years of Girl Scouts.  I made a meaningful, positive difference, I developed my leadership and interpersonal skills, I learned a lot about responsibility, and I learned how to stay focused and keep going.  This project was an important part of my Girl Scout experience, but also an important part of growing up.  Girl Scouts has really given me the opportunity to recognize my capabilities, and to make the world a better place.

**IMPORTANT NOTE: This blog represents only a small fraction of the hard work, dedication and requirements that go into earning a Girl Scout Gold Award. It is simply a brief summary, which is meant to inspire Girl Scouts to Go Gold in the future. For more information on earning your Gold Award, please email

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