What did you do for your Gold Award project?
For my Gold Award project, I created a patch packet for Girl Scouts of different ages, ranging from Brownies to Ambassadors, and designed and produced an actual patch that can be purchased at the GSCO Retail Shop.
I also developed a few workshops for teachers and created a website that shares these resources, as well as testimonies of women in biotech with the purpose of addressing the local, national, and global issue of the gender barrier in different science fields. I addressed this issue by creating and sharing fun educational activities that allow students to explore some of the mysteries of biotechnology and hopefully, make them want to become future scientists in this field of science. I hope that the testimonies on my website will spark an interest in young girls and help them decide if a career in biotechnology is for them and what path they should take in college.
How did you measure the impact your Gold Award project made on your target audience?
To measure the impact of my Gold Award project, I created two different surveys. One is answered by students/girls in the beginning of the workshop, and the other is taken at the end. I was able to assess the knowledge they gained after comparing their answers before and after.
I also used the data from my website’s dashboard that allows me to see that my website was visited more than 200 times from 27 different states, eight different countries, and three continents in less than a month.
I am also receiving feedback through the contact me page on my website.
How is your project sustainable? How will your project continue to impact after your involvement?
My project is being sustained by the TSA (Technology Student Association) club at Castle View High School. They will introduce my workshops and website to incoming club members every year, as well as promote the Exploring Biotech website during eighth grade nights at CVHS. The Exploring Biotech Website is on a free website platform, so no financial maintenance is required for the project. The website resource can be accessed by people around the world for the foreseeable future, https://sophier314.wixsite.com/exploring-biotech
What is your project’s global and/or national connection?
The issue of the gender barrier in the science field is noticed around the globe in numerous ways, and there are a lot of institutions that support the idea of empowering more women in science. I contacted a lecturer at the University of Kentucky who shared my website link with the AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers) K-12 team, as well as on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I emailed the SUCM (service unit cookie manager) in Castle Rock, and she shared the link on the service unit’s Facebook, as well as on the Service Unit 652 website. I also contacted a senior research associate at Twist Bioscience, who shared my website and patch packet with two Girl Scout troops in Northern California. I emailed a former Gold Award Girl Scout and a CU Boulder student, who shared my link on her website and with a Biochem club at the campus.
What did you learn about yourself?
Working on the Girl Scout Gold Award has been an absolutely wonderful and enriching experience for me. During this process, I definitely improved my leadership skills, communication skills, and my business etiquette skills. While working with my team members, I learned what it means to be a leader, and I tried to do my best. A good leader is a good listener and is able to make executive decisions while coordinating and delegating different tasks. Though I still have room to grow in perfecting my leadership skills, I believe I learned a lot. I also gained confidence in myself and learned to be more patient. While working on my project, I realized that I am better at handling stressful situations than I thought I was. I am sure the skills I learned from working on this project will help me in the future.
How will earning your Gold Award impact you in the future?
Through earning my Gold Award, I have learned more about the branch of science that intrigued me since I took the biotech class a couple of years ago. It helped me decide what career I want to pursue. I interviewed numerous women in biotech and realized that working in this field includes a wider variety of jobs than I initially knew about. I also realized that if you want to see a change in the world, you need to act to help this happen. I want to study biochemistry or biomedical engineering in college, and use my leadership skills and experiences in science to hopefully one day inspire girls find their passion in science.
Why do you feel the Gold Award was an important part of your Girl Scout experience?
I believe the Gold Award was a wonderful culmination of my Girl Scout years. It gave me the opportunity to demonstrate the tech skills I had previously known as well as improve some of my leadership skills. I am so happy that I was able to create a project that comes from my experiences and can help others. While working on my Gold Award, I was able to utilize the skills I learned at camps and from earning badges.
How did earning your Gold Award help you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)?
This project definitely helped me become a G.I.R.L.! It inspired me to become an innovator. For this project, I created a website about biotech. This is something that I haven’t done before. To succeed, I had to learn new technical skills. Also, I had to get creative about how I could present it to the participants during the COVID-19 pandemic. I believe that I grew as a go-getter, as I didn’t give up when I met numerous obstacles during my project due to the constantly changing pandemic environment. I am definitely a risk-taker, as I dove in to the issue of gender bias that I believe is a relevant problem in our society. I improved my leadership skills and learned that a good leader must listen to others and delegate. I am very thankful for the help I received from my team. I hope this project will empower more girls to follow their dreams, and I am certain I will use the skills I learned from working on my project in the future. I love being a G.I.R.L.!
**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.