Girl Scout Night Jr

On November 8th, University of Utah SWE hosted their first ever Girl Scout Night Jr! It was a smashing success, with 64 girls in grades K-5 in attendance, along with 35 parents. 22 SWE members volunteered, along with representatives from 3 other University of Utah Engineering Groups: the RoboUtes, the Chemical Engineering Outreach Team, and Materials Science Department Outreach..
We had an amazing time! Young kids are always curious, and just happy to hang out with the “big kids.” The favorite activity among the younger girls was the silly putty. According to Katrina, age 7, it was her favorite “because we got to take it home.” Emma, age 10, loved the activity because she loves chemistry. The girls soon discovered, after some experimenting, that the silly putty was not only squishy, but that it bounces too.
Our most popular activity with the older girls was the egg drop, where girls worked in small teams to design a container to protect an egg on a 12 foot drop with only newspaper, tape and a plastic bag. Only one egg survived, but the girls still loved the activity and trying to solve the problem . According to Lexi, age 9, she liked the design process of the egg drop the best. Many of the girls used the materials creatively, making parachutes, supports and other implements to protect their egg.
The next activity was a static electricity station, where girls got to connect fluorescent lighting tubes to plasma balls, creating their own electrifying circuits. Then there was the hair-raising Van de Graaf generator, where girls made their own lightning. Our last station was a building and earthquake simulation. The girls built houses, bridges and other creations out of gumdrops and toothpicks, then tested the structure’s stability on an earthquake table.
The evening ended with our signature “U” doughnuts, both because we are the “U” and because “U” are an engineer! In the words of Hazel, age 7, “Engineers Rock”!

DSC_1459 DSC_1490-001 What did you think


7 thoughts on “Girl Scout Night Jr

  1. That sounds like an awesome event! How did you accommodate for the wide span in ages when picking activities? Our section tends to just break it up with one event for Brownies, and a later one for Juniors. We have tended to stray away from Daisies since they are so young. Did you find that a problem?

    I’m also interested on how the other clubs were involved during the event? Did they help plan or just there to volunteer? We love working with clubs on campus so it is always helpful hearing how other people pull them in.

  2. Girl Scout Night is one of our biggest and most fun events. We usually have enough volunteers just through SWE and our friends, however we get other engineering clubs to do outreach during our mingling because they often have access to really cool demos.
    As far as the younger kids go, we find they can do all the same activities, though sometimes we prep their activities a little more (like pre cut wires or pre measure liquids). Hope this helps! Good luck!

  3. This sounded like a really great event for scouts of all ages! We are organizing Girl Scout Day for SLO in the spring. I was wondering, how long was the event and how did you split up the scouts and activities to make sure they got enough volunteer guidance?

    • Our event was about two and a half hours long. We split the girls by age, with each group getting a chaperone to walk around with them. Each station had at least 2 lead volunteers, and between three and six additional volunteers to work with the girls, split up by how intense the activity is.

  4. That sounds like a very fun event for both volunteers and Girl Scouts. I am particularly interested in the success gumdrop structures activity. Did most of the structures stay standing? Did you explain any structural concepts before or during the activity?

    Cal Poly San Luis Obispo SWE is doing gumdrop bridges for our fourth grade days event. Since we are at the fourth grade classrooms we will not have any fancy testing equipment (although a earthquake table sounds really fun and cool). I was wondering if you had any tips or ideas of good weights/methods of testing the gumdrop bridges?
    Thank for sharing!!

    • Hi Cal Poly SLO!
      Our gumdrop towers worked fairly well. We did discuss some simple structural concepts, such as triangle vs square supports. The wider structures stayed standing, and most were very stable. We didn’t test weights at this event, but some ideas we discussed were pennies in cups tied to the structure or stacking books on top.

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