Khloe Genova-Ross’ glee is infectious. “We did it!” the 8-year-old from Franklin Square exclaims, and her design team breaks into a spontaneous dance. In 20 minutes, the four girls had used newspaper, cardboard, masking tape and scissors to build a structure capable of holding four textbooks.
This is the kind of challenge that Khloe and other girls will face this fall as they start tackling 23 new badges that the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. launched nationwide this summer in its largest programming rollout in nearly a decade.
(Brownie Badge, grades 2 to 3) The girls design their own "robot arm" and build a prototype of a robot to help other people or animals. Charlotte Prial, 8, of Valley Stream says shed like to make a machine to help her mom, so she doesn't have to run out to the store when they run out of the coconut oil they use to tame Charlotte's curly hair. "I want to invent something that could squish a coconut and put it through something that does what you do to make it coconut oil and put it in a bottle," Charlotte says.
(Brownie Badge, grades 2 to 3) Girls build their own simple machines and explore how robots act on instructions. "I really want to do the robot badge," says Jasper Gioglio-Weaver, 8, of Ronkonkoma. "I havent made one, but I think they're really cool. I see them on science shows."
(Junior Badge, grades 4 to 5) Scouts learn about robot competitions and talk to experts and members of robotics teams to learn how robots are made and used. "I went to an event and there was a robotics club and they were all girls and I thought, 'I want to do that, too,' " says Olivia Phillips, 9, of Mastic. "If I can get started on it, I can grow to be like them."
Fling Flyer Design Challenge
(Brownie Badge, grades 2 to 3) Brownies learn about forces that affect flight by designing and building a Fling Flyer using a kit from GoldieBlox, which makes engineering sets aimed at girls. Brownie troop leader Debbie Prial of Valley Stream says she is thrilled that the Girl Scouts collaborated with the company she has purchased other Goldie Blox kits for her daughter, and many girls are already familiar with them. "I think it makes it a little more accessible," Prial says.
Race Car Design Challenge
(Brownie Badge, grades 2 to 3) The Girl Scouts already have an event called the Powder Puff Derby that mimics the Boy Scouts' annual Pinewood Derby, in which participants build and then race their own wooden cars. But to earn the Race Car Design Challenge, girls will build cars using GoldieBlox pieces, test them and refine their designs. "Here it's the girls doing more of the design ideas for the car," Prial says. "Rather than it just being a Boy Scouts thing in pink."
Here are more badges Girl Scouts can earn:
(Junior Grades 4 and 5) Girls will have the chance to build a solar box cooker.
(Senior, grades 9 and 10): Girls take a wilderness first aid course and study meteorology to predict weather patterns and potential hazards.
(Cadette grades 6, 7 and 8): Girls learn primitive camping skills such as using a hatchet, water purification and how to tie a monkey fist knot.
(Grades K and 1): Girls write out a plan for a camping trip and plan and prepare a simple meal.
(Ambassador, grades 11 and 12): Girls learn how to start a fire with basic tools and find their way using landmarks and the sun.
Model Car Design Challenge
(Daisy grades K and 1): Girls learn about friction by building a model car and testing it on different surfaces to see how far it rolls.
Leap Bot Design Challenge
(Brownie grades 2 and 3): Girls use springs and learn about potential and kinetic energy.
Roller Coaster Design Challenge
(Daisy grades K and 1): Girls learn about motion and gravity by building and using a roller coaster car and ramp.
(Brownie grades 2 and 3): Brownies learn about camping gear and the concept of "leave no trace."
(Daisy grades K and 1): Girls explore their school, city/town and state communities.
(Junior grades 4 and 5): Girls will learn about algorithms using tangrams and will code a robot on a device.
Design a Robot
(Daisy grades K and 1) Girls learn about gears, levers and pulleys and how to use them to build more complex machines.
How Robots Move
(Daisy grades K and 1) Girls are introduced to the parts of a robot and basic programming.
What Robots Do
(Daisy grades K and 1) Girls learn what an engineer is and the various types of engineers they can become.
(Junior grades 4 and 5) Girls learn about artificial intelligence and plan a prototype of a robot to solve a global problem.
Board Game Design Challenge
(Daisy grades K and 1) Daisies will learn about what an inventor is, brainstorm ideas for board games and test them.
Outdoor Art Maker
(Daisy grades K and 1) Girls learn how to look at nature like an artist and create their own outdoor art.
(Brownie grades 2 and 3):Girls learn about different ways they can present their robots before creating and delivering a presentation.