Boonton Township Juniors Troop 96538 hosted a summer STEM-based Badge Workshop in collaboration with the Picatinny Arsenal STEM Outreach program July 11 in Boonton, N.J.
This workshop was a way for junior troops to enhance the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) outreach within their community while earning badges and helping to mentor younger Girl Scouts. The workshop focused on three badges for each level of Girl Scouts including the mechanical engineering and robotics badge.
The Girl Scouts brought a variety of their own robots from home as well as equipment provided by Picatinny Arsenal’s STEM program. They also coordinated the event with scientists and engineers from Picatinny Arsenal as well as technology professionals to help explain scientific principles and demonstrate mechanical engineering and robotic concepts.
“The troop has been focusing on enhancing STEM outreach in their town as part of their Bronze Award, and after completing many STEM focused badges recently, they realized it would be a perfect opportunity for them to mentor others,” said Haley Fica, a Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) Armaments Center Quality Engineer.
The Bronze Award is awarded to Girl Scout Juniors who work to make a difference within their community by identifying a need within that community.
Two Gold Award Girl Scouts from Picatinny Arsenal helped champion the program. Fica led the robotics outreach and Kristina Ferland, an Armaments Center Mortar Fire Control Engineer, led the mechanical engineering portion.
Junior Troop Leader Ann Bentrovato said she was impressed with the event's turnout, with many Girl Scouts traveling over 30 minutes to attend. She also said she hopes this event will start a collaborative effort across the troops within Girl Scouts Northern New Jersey to host Badge workshops and promote sisterhood.
Attendees included 27 Daisy, Brownie, and Junior Girl Scouts (kindergarten through fifth grades) from across northern New Jersey. They completed badges in robotics, mechanical engineering, and being a sister to every Girl Scout. The Junior Aide badge was presented to those who served as mentors to Daisies and Brownies.
“As a Gold Awardee with Girl Scouts it has been really exciting seeing younger girls engaged in the community and starting their mentorship awards,” said Fica. “It’s the beginning of their leadership journey and I am excited to see them achieve their Bronze Award next week.”
The Girl Scouts will collaborate with Picatinny STEM again July 18 to host a hands-on STEM fair at the Boonton Elks Club, 125 Cornelia Street, Boonton, N.J., from 9 to 11 a.m. This will be the culminating event of their Bronze Award with activities in engineering, chemistry, space science, electronics, 3D printing, and more. All are invited to attend.