Monday, October 23, 2017

A Truly Sustainable Bronze Award

Girl Scout Junior Troop 3404 of the Plainedge Association received recognition for having earned their Bronze Award. They learned the value of public service announcements while working through the Agent of Change Journey. The Troop named their project Kind Kids Count because though memories may fade; they all agreed that they remember being treated with kindness in kindergarten.  

The girls created a PSA virtual tour of their school that included everything they wish they knew when they entered kindergarten; like how to use a lunch card, playground rules and what to do when you are not feeling well. Their virtual tour was added to the school website so that new students could view it repeatedly over the summer months. It was also shown at the kindergarten parent orientation meeting. The girls also created a coloring book that depicted the kindergarten experience. A copy of the book was mailed home by Principal Thearle of Charles E. Schwarting Elementary School, to every incoming student along with a parent orientation letter. The Troop donated cloth and colorable tote bags for each student to use to carry their library books. At the annual Sailing into Kindergarten Orientation event, the girls helped new students write their names on their bag and they answered all kinds of questions.

To make their project sustainable, the girls saved their PSA virtual tour and coloring book to a flash drive and gave it to Principal Thearle for future use. The night of the award ceremony, the girls were happily surprised to be greeted by Principal Thearle who personally thanked them for their contribution to the Schwarting school community and handed them their awards on stage. She also asked them if they would like to return in August to orientate another kindergarten class. The girls did not hesitate to say yes! The PTA has approved and paid for the bags this time around and Troop 3404 is looking for a younger Troop to mentor so that their Bronze Award is not only sustainable— but is a new tradition!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Reach for the Stars

Reach for the Stars
By Madison S.

Do you find yourself staring up at the night sky wondering about the stars and the planets?

Do you love learning about the Universe and dream of becoming an astronaut? Two Senior Girl Scouts with a passion for astronomy were selected to represent Girl Scouts of Nassau County (GSNC) during a weeklong Leadership Training Summit at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The experience was out of this world. It was a combination of lectures given by NASA’s best and brightest, hands on laboratory activities, fun and friendship.

At NASA Goddard, hundreds of scientists are making the latest discoveries each day. NASA launched a partnership with Girl Scouts of the USA to educate and excite girls about astronomy. As you can imagine, there was a lot of competition, and only 10 councils were chosen to participate in the Leadership Training at Goddard! GSNC compiled a team of four individuals, an amateur astronomer, a council representative, and two Girl Scouts. Our amateur astronomer, Sue R.’s love for astronomy was contagious, and her expertise invaluable. Without Sara S., Girl Experience Senior Manager at GSNC, our trip would not have been possible. Sara wore many hats during this trip, she was our support and guidance, go to for any questions, and reminded us to stay hydrated. Miranda and Madison were Nassau County’s Girl Scout representatives. Miranda is a student at Jericho High School with a long time interest in astrophysics. In addition to being in accelerated courses, she is a member of the Girl Scout FIRST®  Tech Challenge (FTC) Robotics Team, The Digital Darlings, and a volunteer for the younger FIRST® LEGO League (FLL) Robotics teams and at FIRST Robotics events. Madison is an honors student at Our Lady of Mercy Academy. She is a member of Media Girls, Ceremonial Unit, Girl Speak, and a volunteer for Girl Speak Junior and Scoutreach Programs. Our team was a great fit!

Our days at Goddard began with introductions and discussions about the outcomes we wanted from the program. This welcoming and friendly atmosphere set the stage for the week to come. Each morning, we heard from one of NASA’s expert scientists. Dr. Carrie Anderson discussed the Cassini Mission and the moon Titan, which are her areas of research. Dr. Nicki Viall discussed heliophysics, which is the science that focuses on Earth/Sun Interactions. Dr. Viall is currently studying temperatures in the corona of the Sun. Dr. Sten Odenwald gave an engaging discussion regarding the unanswered questions of the Universe, including Dark Matter. Ms. Kristine Romich gave a relatable talk about the internships and research programs for high school students interested in STEM.

Our week concluded with an address by Nobel Prize Winner, Dr. John Mather. His speech centered around his role cementing the Big Bang Theory and the James Webb Telescope, the successor of the Hubble Telescope. All of the speakers radiated passion and were excited to interact with the girls.

Learning by doing is an important part of all Girl Scout programs. Our interactive lab activities and tours enabled us to apply what we learned from our lectures and talks in a real-world environment. Our group created a scale model of the Solar System, made observations and inferences about a brand new planet made of Play-Dough, viewed Robotic Solar Telescope images, made cereal box spectrometers, created an H-R  Diagram, and had a Virtual Reality experience. We visited the Space Weather Action Center, Spacecraft Assembly Building, Educational Technology Lab, and Goddard Visitors Center. While touring, we were introduced to different scientists and astronomers, and learned more about the diverse career opportunities in science.

Our week at Goddard was specifically designed for us by two NASA employees, Lou Mayo and Troy Cline. Lou and Troy were there every step of the way with us during the summit, coordinating all speakers, tours, and activities. They made sure everyone felt included and had a memorable time. All of the hard work done by these individuals made it possible for GSNC to begin a local Astronomy Club! The GSNC Astronomy Club will be a series program for girls in sixth and seventh grade who are passionate about astronomy or want to learn more about this fascinating topic. Meetings, which will begin later in 2017, will consist of interactive activities, engaging presentations, fun and friendship. When more information becomes available, it will be found on

We hope to see you at our first meeting

Monday, October 2, 2017

Celebrating 10 Years of Robotics!

It’s hard to believe that GSNC girls have been competing in US First Robotic Challenges for 10 years, but we reached that milestone this past season! The program we participate in is the FIRST Program. 

In the US teams from 50 states, and worldwide teams from 80+ countries, participate in this program. FIRST combines the engineering challenge of a robotic competition with real-world problem solving and inventing. Girls who participate in GSNC’s Robotics Program, develop and expand their organizational and problem solving skills, learn teamwork and cooperation and become involved in their local and global community.  They gain hands-on experience in applying real-world math, engineering, coding and science concepts while adhering to the philosophy of “Gracious Professionalism,” exhibiting helpfulness, kindness, and respect as they work, play, and share with others.

We have had three program levels throughout the years.  We started out with the FIRST® LEGO® League FLL) level, 9-14 years old, added FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. (FLL Jr.), 6-9 years old, and when our FLL girls aged out they wanted to continue so we started a FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC) team for high school age girls!  Through the years our teams have won numerous awards (a lot!) and have gone to the School Business Partnership of LI, Inc. (SBPLI, Inc.) Championship Tournaments, the WORLD Festival in Atlanta, GA & St. Louis, MO and the FLL US Open at LEGOLAND, FL.