What did you do for your Gold Award project?
For my Gold Award project, I developed a 3D printing curriculum and instructed 14 students from ages 9-14 in a 3 day, 9 hour workshop at Library 21c in Colorado Springs. The workshop introduced basic engineering design skills to students in order to spark an interest in science, technology, engineering and math at a middle school age level. I educated the students about the resources available at Library 21c which include a wide range of computers and design software, makerspaces, and access to multiple 3D printers. 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, is a unique way to create parts designed on CAD (Computer Aided Design) software. Millions of engineers use CAD systems to design parts every day, making it an increasingly important skill to learn. By teaching the students on free design software available at the library (123D Design by Autodesk), students were introduced to a tool that they can utilize at home, at the library, and in future careers.
How did you measure the impact your Gold Award project made on your target audience?
On the last day of the workshop, the students filled out a survey that I created. I asked them if they would like to come back to the library, if they had or were planning on downloading the software at home, if they enjoyed the program and if they would tell their friends about the information they had learned, among other questions. The survey provided factual evidence, but I could tell from the reactions of the kids, that my program was truly making an impact.
How is your project sustainable? How will your project continue to impact after your involvement?
I am currently the CEO of the District 20 high school robotics team, Rocky Mountain Robotics, which will be continuing and expanding my project next summer. I will help lead the program next summer for a smooth transition, and the team will continue the workshop each summer. This will keep the project at the library, as well as provide many more resources to the program, and will be able to integrate robotics and programming into the workshop.
What is your project’s global and/or national connection?
After completing the workshop, I created a curriculum based off of my experiences and the program itself. I then compiled all of the documents and resources I created for my project, including a PowerPoint I created on 3D printing, certificates, surveys, flyers, and helpful sheets for the design software program and placed all of them in a sharable Google Drive folder. I sent the curriculum to 49 libraries in 18 states and two countries, all of which have access to 3D printers and resources necessary to complete the program. I have received emails back from libraries wanting to continue the program, and Skype call me so I can talk to kids about pursuing STEM.
What did you learn about yourself?
I think the lessons I learned from my Gold Award project can be summarized by the core values of Girl Scouts: courage, confidence, and character. Along the road, I had many doubts in myself if I could complete the project. I kept thinking I had not planned enough, and doubted that I could teach a room full of middle schoolers how to use fairly complex programs on the computer. In the end, I found strength to push through because I knew the impact that my project would make. I was personally inspired to pursue STEM in middle school from high school students, and I couldn’t wait to inspire younger students myself. I gained immediate confidence when I stood in front of the room, with all the kids looking at me, and my confidence only grew by the end of the program. My confidence in my leadership abilities skyrocketed as I witnessed the positive impact my organizing and planning efforts made on the community. I also noticed an improvement in my character as I inspired others to reach for their goals in STEM fields.
How will earning your Gold Award impact you in the future?
Earning my Gold Award has inspired me to make a difference in my community, and provided the tools and resources for me to do it. After completing my project, I feel like I can do anything I set my mind to with determination and confidence in my leadership skills.
Why do you feel the Gold Award was an important part of your Girl Scout experience?
Completing my Gold Award was one of the most gratifying experiences I have had in Girl Scouts. I was able to utilize all of the leadership and communication skills I learned throughout my years in Girl Scouts, and empower others to chase their dreams. My Gold Award project was a daunting task, but finishing it successfully makes me feel like I can truly make an impact on my community and the world around me.
**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 firstname.lastname@example.org