The Girl Scouts of Valparaiso and Washington Township recently celebrated the completion of the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards for five of its members at the Annual Girl Recognition event held at St. Paul Catholic School.
The Bronze Award recognizes Junior Girl Scouts who have completed a series of requirements that concludes with a community service project. Emily Jensen and Alyssa Monroe studied the local brown bat populations and then built and donated bat homes in areas that needed mosquito control.
The Silver Award this year was earned by Katie Garza and Olivia Lozano, eighth-grade Cadette Girl Scouts. Their area of service to the community was music, and they planned and executed a workshop for younger girls to help them earn their Junior Musician Badge. The main portion of their Silver Award was to create a sheet music lending library which is now housed at the Valparaiso Public Library. They collected over 400 pieces of sheet music for wind instruments, string instruments, percussion, and piano which can be loaned out to students and teachers for private lessons.
The Gold Award, Girl Scouting’s highest honor for Ambassador Girl Scouts, was earned by Kourtney Collier, a recent graduate of Valparaiso High School. Kourtney’s interest is focused on how to get girls interested in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) with the hope that they are encouraged to pursue careers in these male-dominated fields. Using social media, Kourtney developed both an Instagram and Facebook page for girls interested in STEM. She created a flyer along with a bag of information about scientific fields and distributed them at Housing Opportunities. For the main component of her Gold Award project, Kourtney teamed up with mentor Mary Costa, a chemical engineer at ArcelorMittal, to create and execute a STEM workshop for fourth and fifth-grade girls. The girls learned about atoms and non-newtonian substances by making “slime,” learning about phases of matter while making ice cream, and exploring kinetic and potential energy by working with catapults.
Kourtney will be attending Indiana University in the fall to major in engineering.