Girl Scouts at Home: STEM


Girl Scouts at Home: STEM

Girl Scout badges cover a wide array of topics included under STEM. If you want to be a video game designer, rocket scientist, veterinarian, or even a chef, the worlds of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) are important to making your dreams come true. Plus STEM is just plain fun! 

The activities below have been adapted from existing Girl Scout programming and optimized for use at home during a period of social distancing.

Daisy, Brownie, and Junior Coding Basics—Step 1

Purpose: All computer programs and robots operate using algorithms. Many people don’t realize that an algorithm is just a list of detailed steps, and can be applied to many other activities in life!

Materials needed: Paper and something to write with.

Activity: Think of a simple activity you know how to do. Maybe it’s a dance, or a simple recipe for a snack, or a basic game you play. Write down a list of all the steps you need to complete to do this activity. Test your algorithm by giving it to someone in your house to complete. If there are missing steps, you can always change your algorithm! Here’s an example:

Execute PBJ Program:

  1. [If user is hungry] make sandwich.
  2. Put two slices of bread on a plate.
  3. Spread jelly on one slice with a knife.
  4. Spread peanut butter on the other slice with a knife.
  5. Eat!

As humans, we have the ability to think for ourselves, and if there is a step missing, we can usually guess what it is. Robots and computers do not think for themselves, so we have to give them very detailed instructions. After you write your algorithm, pretend you are a robot who has never been in your home before. Using the above example, does this robot know where the peanut butter is? Do your instructions tell the robot to clean up, or will it leave a mess? Break down your algorithm to be even easier for a robot to follow!

Junior Space Science Investigator—Step 1

Purpose: Our routines have changed a bit, but luckily we can still go outside and enjoy a nice walk. This is a great way to make sure you and your family is getting more physical activity, while also learning about the size of our solar system!

Materials needed: Chalk

Activity: Our solar system is much larger in real life than many models or images in textbooks show. Because there is so much distance in between planets, even a very small to-scale model would be quite large! We’re going to go for a walk to demonstrate the distance between planets. Using the chart below, as well as BIG footsteps, walk the solar system and mark your planets with sidewalk chalk:

Brownie: Designing Robots and Senses—Step 1

Purpose: Robots have sensors that mimic human sense receptors. Girls can learn how robots work based on how they sense stimuli around them, while also learning about their own senses.

Materials needed: Paper and something to draw with.

Activity: Start by drawing a basic robot. Then, draw a picture of yourself next to your robot. On the picture of yourself, label the parts of you that you use to sense things. As a reminder, your five senses are:

  • See
  • Taste
  • Smell
  • Touch
  • Hear

Did you know that most robots have at least some senses too? They use sensors to process the same stimuli that you do, except you use your hands, eyes, mouth, nose, and ears. For example, a security robot might SEE intruders and set off an alarm if one appears. A household robot might SMELL when the trash needs to be taken out, and do it for you! Decide what jobs you want your robot to do, and what senses it would need for each job. Draw on your robot what senses you would like it to have and label your sensors.

Head here to explore more STEM badge activities from GSUSA!

Want to try some more fun experiments? Here are a few fun activities that you can do at home:
Create a lava lamp
Make Edible Pudding Slime
Here are somethings to do with plastic easter eggs and peeps

ALSO below STEM badge worksheet activities* you can print out and do at home:

Parents might be interested in reading these: Nine Super-Easy Ways to Let Her Explore STEM and How Girl Scout STEM Programs Benefit Girls (2016). Did you know Girl Scouts have taken the STEM Pledge?


*All badges may not be available until late summer/early fall.

Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.
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