Center for STEM Education challenges Girl Scout camp goers to solve a mystery and think like engineers
This summer, the Georgia Southern University Center for STEM Education partnered with the Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia to create a forensics investigation as well as engineering workshop that Scouts are completing at summer camp.
“The Case of the Stolen Eagle Egg” was designed by the Center’s Kania Greer, Ed.D., coordinator, and Mary Thaler, administrative assistant, to provide an interdisciplinary educational experience for the Girl Scouts while coming to Camp Lowe in Savannah, GA.
“This activity is complete with actual evidence from Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia employees and camp counselors,” said Greer. “We wanted to make this experience as exciting and real as possible to ensure the girls had fun while completing experiments, math equations, writing narratives, and learning how to deliver a data-driven theory.”
The Case has four potential suspects, evidence ranging from replica eagle feathers and talons, footprints, fingerprints, fibers and eye witnesses. The participating Girl Scouts will complete activities in paper chromatography, fingerprinting, crime scene documentation, fiber analysis and feather labs that will enhance their skills in deductive reasoning, the scientific process, collaborative investigation, and evidence evaluation.
Once they solve the case, each Girl Scout receives a “Special Agent” Girl Scout badge.
The Center also created an engineering workshop for the Scouts including activities in all three areas of the Junior Mechanical Engineering Girl Scout badge requirements including crane design, rubber band or balloon powered cars and paddle boats.
“Each activity requires the girls to think critically and creatively to design, create and build projects with simple, household materials,” said Thaler. “They will test their designs and compete against each other to determine which design is the most successful and then evaluate why that design had more success.”
Senior Elementary Education Major Christopher Harrelson is working with the Center this summer to provide support to the Girl Scouts specifically in the engineering workshop.
Interested in partnering with the Center for STEM Education for your organization? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (912) 478-8650.