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Girl Scouts celebrate highest awards
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Girl Scouts celebrate highest awards

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VALPARAISO — The Girl Scouts of Valparaiso and Washington Township celebrated the completion of Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards for five of its members at the Annual Recognition Event at St. Paul School.

The Bronze Award recognizes Junior Girl Scouts who have completed a series of requirements, concluding 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 was earned by Katie Garza and Olivia Lozano, eighth-grade Cadette Girl Scouts. Their area of community service was music.

They planned and executed a workshop for younger girls to help them earn their Junior Musician Badge. The major portion of their Silver Award was to create a sheet music lending library, which is now housed at the Valparaiso Public Library.

They collected more than 400 pieces of sheet music for wind instruments, string instruments, percussion and piano. The material can be loaned out to students and teachers for private lessons.

The Gold Award, Girl Scout's highest honor for Ambassador Girl Scouts, was earned by Kourtney Collier, a recent graduate of Valparaiso High School. The award was for her interest in getting girls interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), with the hope they are encouraged to pursue careers in these male-dominated fields.

Using social media, she developed 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, she teamed up with mentor Mary Costa, a chemical engineer at ArcelorMittal, to create and execute a STEM workshop for fourth- and fifth-grade girls. 

They learned about atoms and non-Newtonian substances by making "slime," learned about phases of matter while making ice cream and explored kinetic and potential energy working with catapults.

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