STEAM Snack: Exploring the Science of Sound

I am going to apologize right now for this one, I am very sorry for the noise, it will likely drive you nuts but, it is totally worth it, I promise!  If there is one thing all kids like to do it is to make noise, it could be banging pots and pans, tapping their feet, whistling, or talking continually.  This activity plays right into that love of noise, and by saying that we have just made it a science experiment to demonstrate how sound works.  See there was a point to the noise.  

Why Music?  

Music helps kids in all areas of development and skills, intellectual, social/emotional, motor, language, and literacy.  Music helps our brains and bodies work together, it can help us relax and focus.  Music for children can help them learn sounds and meanings of words.  

What if I’m not an expert? 

During this activity the girls will learn that when things vibrate, they make sound, vibrations are what let us hear each other speak, and if you are interested in the additional demo below, they will be able to see that sound can also make things vibrate.  

Some Vocabulary 

  • Vibrating: moving back and forth really fast 
  • Sound wave: a vibration that travels through the air.  
  • Sound: a noise we can hear 
  • Hearing: Using our ears to listen to sound  
  • Eardrum: Part of the inside of your ear that allows you to hear vibrations.  

Here is some science you can share with your girls.  

A common misconception is that sound is made directly by our mouths, actually sound is the movement of air in the form of sound waves. These waves are produced by our vibrating vocal cords, or the vibration of a musical instrument.  This can be a tough concept for younger girls, so giving them the chance to “see” sound is helpful.  

Sound is the result of vibrations; all instrument sounds are the result of vibrations and make different sounds based on the speed of the vibrations and the material being vibrated.  

Sound can also cause vibrations; this is because the waves made by the sound can be strong enough to move other objects.

Additional activity to demonstrate this.  https://www.generationgenius.com/activities/introduction-to-sound-activity-for-kids/ 

Here are some discussion questions to get the girls thinking about the science of sound:  

  • Close your eyes for a minute. What are some things that you can hear? 
  • How are you able to hear things? 
  • What are some examples of things that vibrate?  
  • What kinds of musical instruments have you heard before? 
  • Are you able to make sounds?  

How do I get started? 

Materials you need: 

  • Craft sticks – both thick and thin, you can experiment 
  • Rubber bands – ideally the thinker ones, they work better 
  • More rubber bands – smaller, think the small hair bands you use with toddlers that just hide around the house.  
  • Scissors 
  • Paper 
  • Toothpicks 
  • Straws 

We are sharing two ways to build your harmonica one is easier for younger children, try them out, you know your girls and what they will be able to handle.  If you feel that you will need some help guiding the younger girls through the steps, don’t be afraid to ask additional adults to stick around to help.  

The science behind the harmonica 

When you blow into the harmonica you are causing the paper or elastic to vibrate.  These vibrations need a medium like air in order to travel and produce the sound that reaches their eardrums.  The frequency of this vibration is called Hertz.  The quicker it vibrates, the higher the pitch will be.  If you squeeze the two sides of the harmonica together it will change the pitch of the noise produced.  

A few warnings about these harmonicas, be careful with splinters, they are not like traditional harmonica where you can run your mouth along it.  Also be careful if you are using colored craft sticks, the color tends to run once they get wet, more likely to happen with smaller kids.  The best way to play them is by pulling our lips over your teeth and placing the harmonica on the skin just under your lips (which should be over your teeth if you pull you lips in). Clear as mud? Great let’s get started.  

The Badges:

  • Daisy:
  • Brownie:
  • Junior: Musician Step 4
  • Cadette:
  • Senior:
  • Ambassador:

Older Girl Variation:  

When you are working with older girls ask them to experiment with what would happen if they changed the width of the paper or elastic band? Higher or lower pitch? What should happen is the thinner paper the higher the pitch. What would happen if they made a paper that was thinner on one end and became thicker as you moved to the opposite end?  They should be able to make different pitches while using the same harmonica.  

The Activity!  

Technique one – better suited to smaller children. 

  • Take one of your craft sticks and put an elastic band around it (length ways) 
  • Cut the straw into 2 pieces so that they are the width of the craft stick.  If you don’t have straws folded paper will work as well.
  • Put the straws under the elastic band, one at either end. 
  • Put the other craft stick on top and use the loom bands to keep everything in place by wrapping them around each end. 

Technique two – older kids 

  • Cut out a piece of paper so that it is the same length and width as your craft stick. 
  • Place the paper onto one of the craft sticks. 
  • Place the other craft stick on top and wrap one loom band around an end. 
  • Cut your toothpick to the width of the craft stick. 
  • Put your cut toothpick between one of the craft sticks and the piece of paper, run it down until it is next to the loom band and then push it in so that none of it is sticking out. 
  • Put the other toothpick in the same position at the other end and then finally wrap the final loom band around the other end. 

Wrap up:  

How can changing the colors change your pattern? How did you work through your challenges working with the template?  

A musically inspired snack  

Collect a variety of snacks that the girls can make into musical symbols. Then the girls can create their own musical creations, and even try to play them on their harmonica before eating.  

Food examples: pretzel sticks, raisins, cucumbers slices, chocolate chips, nuts, ect.

Make sure to post photos of your STEAM Snack or musical tunes in the comments, we can’t wait to see them!


Post by Liz Bleacher

Let’s Get Outside – Girl Scout Style!

7 Awesome Outdoor Activities

As we enter the fifth month of the year, and have learned over the past year how important outdoor experiences are, we have 7 self-led ideas for you and your Girl Scout to get outdoors!  Below are some links/activities to explore a variety of fun related to the outdoors.  Be sure to read all the way to the end for an edible campfire!   

  1. Earn the “Clean Water Grows on Trees” fun patchvia our partners Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Keystone 10 Million Tree Partnership. Trees provide habitat and improve the air we breathe. But did you know that clean water grows on trees? Earn this fun patch by learning about the trees in your neighborhood and then taking action to protect them. 
Lauren Braught, GSHPA Gold Award Girl Scout holding “Clean Water Grows on Trees” fun patch
  1. Soundscape Scavenger Hunt- A soundscape is the acoustic environment as perceived by humans. In this activity, you will explore your backyard for a variety of sounds! This activity satisfies parts of both Daisy: Outdoor Art Maker – Step 2 and Brownie: Senses – Step 2 
  1. Bug Bingo– Discover the wonder and joys of nature through bugs! This activity satisfies step 3 of the Brownie: Bugs Badge.   
     
  1. Learn more about Knots with this Girl Scouts USA blog post:  10 Essential Knots for Girl Scouts  
  1. Backpacking Skills Videos - Learn the basics of backpacking and then learn more about GSHPA’s backpacking programhere
  1. Virtual Constellation Discovery Series - Learn about the stars, constellations, and the stories written in the night sky with Sarah, our Outdoor Program Manager, through a series of fun videos. 
  1. Activity: Edible Campfires 
    (This activity is courtesy of Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington council) 

Learn about fire building and safety by making edible fires! 

Supplies 

  • A plate (to build your edible fire on) 
  • A small cup of water (to represent your fire bucket) 
  • A spoon or fork (to represent your shovel/rake) 
  • Small roundish snacks (to represent your fire ring) 
  • M&M’s, cheerios, and mini marshmallows 
  • Any sort of small, slim snacks (to represent tinder) 
  • Thin, twig-like snacks (to represent kindling) 
  • Pretzel sticks and veggie straws 
  • Thicker, branch-like snacks (to represent fuel) 
  • Jumbo pretzel sticks or tootsie rolls 

Directions  

  • When we make a campfire, we need a clear area free of dried grass and sticks and we should be using an established fire pit. Begin making your fire by making sure you have your plate clean and ready!  
  • Create a fire ring on your plate with your “rocks.” 
  • Do we have the right safety equipment on hand? Ensure that your fire “bucket” is filled with water and that you have your “shovel” nearby. Pull back your hair and make sure you’re not wearing anything that could hang into the fire. 
  • The next step is to collect your tinder, kindling, and fuel. 
  • Tinder is your smallest piece of wood, about the size of your pinky finger. This wood catches quickly and its main purpose is to get your initial flame. 
  • What edible items could these be?  
  • Kindling is the next piece, about the size of 1-2 fingers. This type of wood is the second stage, it burns longer than tinder and can get that necessary initial fire started. Once you get enough kindling burning, it should begin to generate enough heat and flame to get your big pieces lit. 
  • What edible items could these be?  
  • Fuel is the biggest log, the ones that keep your fire burning all night. Some styles of fire have it in their initial formation, while others have to begin to add it as your fire builds up enough heat to catch them. 
  • What edible items could these be?  
  • When building your fire, consider what you want to use it for.  
  • To cook food, to keep you warm in harsh weather, or simply to provide a space to gather around and sing songs and tell stories.  
  • There are hundreds of styles of campfires, here are some easy examples to start. 

Once you’ve fully enjoyed your fire, the most important thing to do is ensure that it is completely put out. Eat your snack, or pack it away into a plastic baggie to enjoy later! 


Post by Lutricia Eberly

Happy Mother’s Day from GSHPA!

Mother’s Day is a wonderful time to celebrate the women in our lives who are mothers or have been mother figures to us. I’m sure we are all accustomed to this holiday, and usually spend it giving flowers, gifts or even allowing the women in our lives to spend the entire day relaxing. We celebrate this holiday every year, but have you ever heard how Mother’s Day came to be?  

In the late 1800’s, several women around the United States tried to inspire local Mother’s Day celebrations, and are considered to be early Mother’s Day pioneers. It wasn’t until 1905, with the death of one of those pioneers that the official Mother’s Day holiday that we celebrate today really took off. After the passing of her mother, Anna Jarvis worked with a Philadelphia department store to hold the first Mother’s Day celebration in 1908. Thousands of people attended, and this inspired Anna to fight to have the holiday added to the national calendar. Her argument was that American holidays were biased toward male achievements. She worked to organize a letter writing campaign to newspapers and politicians to adopt a special day to honor motherhood. Finally, after persisting for several years, President Woodrow Wilson officially signed Mother’s Day as we know it into existence in 1914.  

Mother’s Day is also widely celebrated around the world, though not always on the same day as here in the states. For example, in Thailand Mother’s Day is celebrated in August on the birthday of their queen. In Ethiopia families gather in the fall to celebrate mothers with a large feast that lasts several days! In France, Mother’s Day is at the end of May or early June, and is typically celebrated very similarly to the way we celebrate.  

Daises: Jeannette, Genevive S., and Rosalina S. 

GSHPA Troop 70304 in Lancaster worked together to create handmade cards to give to their moms!  

No matter how you celebrate Mother’s Day, it is important to recognize and thank the women in our lives for all that they do for us. If you’re still looking for ideas of what to give for Mother’s Day, check out a list of my favorite ideas below! 

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas 

  • A handmade card or letter 
  • A fresh, summery scented candle (you could even make this yourself!) 
  • Breakfast in bed 
  • A pressed flower card or framed arrangement  
  • A day of relaxation – doesn’t have to be at a spa, this could be letting her enjoy a day to herself at home! 

Let us know in the comments what your favorite Mother’s Day gifts to give or receive are! 


Written by Colleen Sypien

STEAM Snack: Model Cars

Hello! Welcome back to our monthly post that will focus on STEAM activities and snacks you can do at home with your family or with your troops. 

Ah, it’s finally spring! With the warmer weather approaching, many of us use this time to get some Spring Cleaning started. Why not put all those things in your junk drawer and recycling bins to good use by creating model cars! This STEAM activity brings together the engineering and art by allowing girls to explore their creativity and build something out of objects they have at home. By using everyday “junk” they will expand their minds and repurpose it into something new.  

Why mechanical engineering? 

When you hear the word engineering, you usually think about buildings and bridges. Learning about the different branches or types of engineering is not only interesting, but it can be fun and useful for you and your troop.  

In its most basic definition, mechanical engineering is the design and building of machines. A mechanical engineer is someone who solves problems with creative solutions, usually through designing and building different types of machinery.  Engineers use their imaginations to invent new things and come up with new and better designs. This is a great opportunity to help young girls learn problem-solving skills that help make the world a better place.  

Mechanical engineers are involved in many fields of work, including:

Aerospace engineering, automotive engineering, construction, energy, manufacturing, medicine, railway engineering, and sports!  

Mechanical engineers use the design process to work through their solutions and designs. These are skills the girls can adapt to any situation: 

  1. Define the need 
  1. Brainstorm 
  1. Design 
  1. Build 
  1. Test & evaluate 
  1. Redesign 
  1. Share solutions  

Remember: Steps 4-6 can be repeated in a cycle over and over again until a final design has been found/created.  

What if I’m not an expert? 

We are not all mechanical engineers, and it is ok to feel like we don’t know enough to lead the girls in engineering activities. But remember you do know enough! Focus on the steps of the design process, let the girls lead their projects, see where it goes.  You will get different designs as the girls use their imagination to solve the challenge.   

If you are feeling that you want more expert knowledge, reach out to your troop parents, friends, relatives or other GSHPA troop leaders on the GSHPA Facebook page to see if there is an engineer you can invite to come talk to your girls.   

How do I get started? 

To get familiar with mechanical engineering, watch this video from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. It’s a great video to share with your girls to learn about mechanical engineering, understanding how to involve your interests when considering a future career, and learning that mechanical engineering is way more than what you might’ve thought. Video: What is a Mechanical Engineer? –An Introduction  

Before gathering supplies for you to do the activity, remember, it is always easier to guide girls through the process when you have done it yourself.  Start at the beginning and work through each step, make notes (mental or written) on how each step works for you and any modifications you might make for your girls.  When you are done you now have a prototype to share with the girls! 

The Badges 

  • Daisy Mechanical Engineering Model Car: Steps 1 & 3 
  • Brownie Mechanical Engineering Race Car: Steps 2, 4, & 5 
  • D/B/J/C/S/A Think Like an Engineer Journey: Step 1 
  • Find out how engineers use design thinking to solve problems. 

The Activity 

Supplies 

Look in your junk drawer, recycling bin, and around the house for materials to create a model car.  

General supplies: paper, pencil, tape, glue/hot glue, and scissors. 

Things that might be handy for designing/redesigning: rubber bands, push pins/tacks,  

Here are some suggestions for specific model car parts: 

  • Body of car: water bottle, toilet paper/paper towel tube, juice box, disposable cup, takeout container, ice cream container, milk carton, cardboard box, tissue box, cans (soda, canned food) 
  • Axles: straws, BBQ skewers, chopsticks, toothpicks, pencils, pens  
  • Wheels: bottle caps, candy mints with a hole in the middle, CDs, cardboard circles, buttons, beads  
  • Connecter for attaching wheels to axle: dry sponge, foam, clay, marshmallow cut in half 

Introduction to the girls 

Start the activity by talking to the girls about what a mechanical engineer is and introduce the design process.  This would be a good opportunity to share the “What is a Mechanical Engineer?” video with the group.  

If you have a large group or think your girls would enjoy working in pairs have them pair up at this point. Explain that they will be following the design process for each step of this activity. 

Define the need 

To build a model car out of materials found around the home, build a car that will move when pushed or using air as an energy source. 

Brainstorm & Design 

Give each girl a piece of paper and pencil and set the timer to at least 5 minutes (10 minutes if you think your girls need more time) to brainstorm their ideas. Girls should use the full five minutes to draw their ideas and write down any thoughts. If they think they’re done, ask them to get more specific or draw their design from different angles/points of view. What kind of car do they want to create? What is their power source? What materials are they going to use? 

Build 

Have girls grab their materials and build their cars! Encourage them to try out different materials and take a moment to think how it will work in their designs. Remind them that it’s okay if it doesn’t work how they imagined – mechanical engineers encounter problems like this every day in their jobs. Problems are a way to find the solution.  

Test & Evaluate 

Remind the girls that as they are testing to ask themselves questions like: How it is working? How does it look? Is there something I can do to make it perform better? What other material would work since this one doesn’t? Can I adjust something before taking away that material? Will changing one thing affect another?  

Redesign 

Girls take those questions they asked themselves and redesign their cars. Some may need small changes and others may need to start over. Remind them: if your car doesn’t work the way you want it to, that’s not a failure, that’s an opportunity to make it better. Take a few minutes to think about what went wrong and how you can change it. Once it is redesigned, test and evaluate again. 

Share Solutions 

Once everyone has designed, built, and tested their cars it’s time to share! Have each girl showcase her car and share what she did to create it, test it, and improve it.  

As a group, ask the girls questions like: 

  • What made your car go faster? 
  • What would have slowed the cars down? 
  • What failures did you face? What did you do to work through it? 
  • How did you improve your designs?  
  • If you had more time, what would you do? 

Time for a Snack 

Great job! Keep the mechanical engineering theme going by creating and eating your own apple and grape race cars!  

Ingredients:  

  • Apple  
  • Grapes 
  • Toothpick  
  • Knife to cut fruit  

Directions: 

  • Grab your apple and cut two full cheeks – cut the two sides of the apple, leaving the middle. Slice out the center into thirds, creating a wedge.  
  • Cut grapes in half. 
  • Push 2 toothpicks into each apple wedge to represent the car axles. Put the grape halves on each side to represent wheels. 
  • Enjoy!  

Source/credit: 

https://www.kidspot.com.au/kitchen/recipes/apple-race-car-snack-recipe/hgdm5z2c


Written by: Colleen Park

Seven Ways to Spend Earth Day

Spring is finally here!  No more days of bundling up in half of your wardrobe just to walk outside.  We can see the ground, the flowers, the birds, and not under a foot of snow.  Now, how to celebrate the warmer weather?  With some Earth Day activities of course!  Earth Day is officially Thursday, April 22, but why not celebrate all of April?  Check out some of our favorite Earth Day activities and let us know what your favorites are in the comments! 

Nature Photography 

Grab your camera or phone and head outside to take some pictures of what the Earth has to offer.  Explore your backyard, neighborhood, local park or hiking trail and grab a shot of the beauty Mother Nature has for you.  

Cloud Watching/Star Gazing 

Find a blanket and pillows to spread out in your yard and see what shapes and animals you can find in the clouds.  Wait a few more hours and try it again with the stars, look for the Little Dipper, Orion and all the other constellations up in the sky.  

Egg Shell Planting 

Do you have any hard boiled eggs from Easter hanging around? Take the shells and plant them.  Fill the shell with some potting soil and a seed, and once the seed sprouts, plant the whole thing in the ground.  

Outdoor I Spy 

I don’t know about you but I Spy is a favorite game of my kids while on long or short car rides.  The great outdoors has so many things for the eyes to spy, you can sit in your back yard or go for a family hike and take a closer look at what surrounds you in nature.  

Recycled Art 

Take a look in your recycling bin and find some art supplies! Be inspired by the Earth and all that you can find in nature to create something to celebrate Earth day, Share your piece with family and friends to help inspire them.  

Earth Day Scavenger Hunt 

We are all about scavenger hunts, and now here is one for exploring outdoors on Earth Day. Here is a list we put together to hunt for, you can collect them in a bucket or even better take a picture and cross it off the list.  (Remember Principle 4 of Leave No Trace, leave what you find.) 

  •  Rock 
  •  Stick 
  •  Leaf 
  •  Grass 
  •  Litter 
  •  Flower 
  •  Spider Web 
  •  Dirt 
  •  Ant 
  •  Feather 
  •  Bark 
  •  Bug 
  •  Slug 
  •  Water 
  •  Worm 
  •  Cloud 

Earth Day Cookies 

We found this great post on how to make Earth Day Cookies!  Simple and tasty what could be better!? 


Written by Liz Bleacher

April Fools, Girl Scout Style

March is a busy month filled with all sorts of activities, but as we say goodbye to March it is time to say hello to spring weather, the end of Cookie Season and APRIL FOOLS DAY.  

Yes, today we will be talking all about April 1st and sharing some of our favorite pranks with you!  

Green Milk & Cookies! 

Bring your friends and family a sweet surprise – delicious Girl Scout Cookies. So where’s the prank in that? We have used food coloring to dye the milk an unusual color to shock them! 

Girl Scout Cookie Swap! 

Since everyone is stocking up on those delicious Girl Scout Cookies it is the perfect time to swap out those cookies with veggies for some April Fools fun! 

Jello Toothbrush! 

Who doesn’t love Jello? Well your friends and family might not after this prank! Start by making your favorite jello (we recommend green jello for an extra Girl Scout twist!) and pour it into a small cup then add their toothbrush. Once it is set, simply place it where they brush their teeth and wait! 

Balloon Bang! 

Take on April Fool’s Day with a BANG! Just take a few balloons, blow them up really full and attach them to the back of a closed door! When your friends open the door it will hit the wall and pop the balloons! 

Juliette Gordon Low Prank! 

As you may know Juliette Gordon Low was the founder of Girl Scouts what better way to remind your friends and family members than by showing them? We printed out a bunch of tiny cartoon Juliette Gordon Lows to stick around the house – you should try the same! 

Unreachable Girl Scout Cookies! 

Instead of opening the package and swapping out the cookies inside, this prank will be on the outside of the box! Just take a box of their favorite Girl Scout Cookies and wrap it in tape, bubble wrap, etc. to ensure it is nearly impossible to reach the delicious cookies inside! 


Post by: Rebekah Stefl

STEAM Snack: March

Welcome back to our monthly series bringing you STEAM activities to do at home or with your troops. 

March can be a tricky month, is it Winter? No, Spring, wait, it’s Winter again!  We have an activity for you to bring some order to the randomness of March through math and art.  

A tessellation is a pattern of flat shapes that fit together so that there are no gaps.  I’m sure you’ve seen them before but maybe didn’t realize it.  Here are a couple examples from nature.  

Take a look at the snake’s skin and you will see a collection of scales that fit together like puzzle pieces.  

The veins on a dragonfly’s wings also outline an irregular puzzle-like collection clear cells.   

The honeycomb cells built by bees also fit together very regularly.  They are all the same size and shape.   

All these natural patterns can be modeled with a mathematic technique known as a Voroni Tessellation. Feel free to research that more.  Here we are just going to talk about the math behind the basic definition of tessellation.  

Why Math?  

Math gets a bad reputation sometimes, but I love it and even if you don’t love it you can have fun with it.  Here are three reasons why… 

  1. A girl who tries to solve a math problem quickly learns that she needs to follow a specific series of steps without making a mistake.  If there is an error, she will learn to trouble shoot, and try it again until she gets it correct.  This is an important lesson for our daily lives, where we do a lot of stuff that can be improved and corrected for efficiency and productivity.  
  1. Math helps produce problem solving skills that will assist in real life situations and arriving at logical solutions.  Think of the dreaded “word problems”, I know we all groaned when our teachers gave us one, but they are the problems that apply most to real live situations.  
  1. Math teaches us important skills that we use every single day, even if we don’t realize it.  An example:  fractions are used while reading road signs that tell us the distance we still have to go to our destination. Being good with numbers makes telling time much easier.  Percentages help us when reading nutrition labels or shopping discounts.  

What if I’m not an expert? 

We have all heard “I’m not a math person.” We are all math people, it is around us everywhere, you don’t have to be an expert/genius to be able to get girls interested, or at least accepting of math.   

First, we don’t want anyone to feel forced into math, we want to show the girls how math is connected to our daily lives. This is not school, they are not being graded! 

Second, focus on the other things we learn through math. Share with your girls that it will create opportunities for cooperation, it will be a change to struggle and succeed, and that it is ok to not get it right the first time, very rarely do we get things correct the first time.   

Also, remind the girls that math is like a language and easier to use once you learn the words.  

How do I get started? 

So the first step in starting is to make sure to do this activity yourself before doing it with the girls.  There are some detailed parts that you will want to have tried before teaching the girls, lining up the sides to tape and such, you will recognize them. If you google “Tesselations for Kids” images you will see many more examples and inspiration. 

Along these lines, if you are working with younger girls it will be handy to have extra adult hands around to help.  

Once you have the girls in front of you, do not tell them they are going to be doing Math, or  you will get eye rolls and groans. Instead, lead with “we are doing Art!!!!” And then mention the math in the art. Patterns, angles, spacing are all art and math terms.  

The Badges: 

Daisy: Outdoor Art Maker – Step 1, See the colors of nature 

Brownie: Outdoor Art Creator – Step 1: Find art ideas outdoors and Step 2: Make something 

Junior: Outdoor Art Explorer – Step 1: Explore outdoor art and Step 2: Make something 

Cadette: Outdoor Art Apprentice – Step 1: Explore outdoor art and Step 2: Make something 

Senior: Outdoor Art Expert – Step 1: Explore outdoor art and Step 2: Make something 

Ambassador: Outdoor Art Master – Step 1: Explore outdoor art and Step 2: Make something 

The Activity! 

What to say when you start the activity: Tessellation is a big word for fitting shapes together so there are no gaps between the shapes and none of the shapes overlap. Think of a jigsaw puzzle, tiles in your bathroom or a brick wall. There is a bit of math involved even if not obvious at first, it is all about the angles.

Tetris is a good example of tessellation, fitting shapes together with no gaps. Other places you will see tessellation is in the work of Dutch artist M.C. Escher and in Islamic art, the Alhambra Palace in Spain.

Tessellation has one important rule: whenever lines meet, the angles have to add up to 360 degrees. Back to the Tetris example, it works because the corners on all the shapes are 90 degrees so when the four corners meet you end up with no spaces, 360 degrees.  This also works with other shapes, equilateral triangles (60-degree corners) and hexagons (120-degree corners.)

Activity: Tessellation 

We will be designing a translation tessellation, this can be thought of as sliding the shape along a plane, creating the repeating pattern. Follow the steps and see what you can imagine.  

Step One:  

Label your 3×3 inch paper with A and B 

Step Two:  

Draw a simple shape on one side A and one side B

Step Three:  

Carefully cut side “A” out and slide it to line up with the other “A”. Secure with tape.

Step Four: Optional  

Optional for a bigger challenge: Repeat Step Three with side “B”.

Now you have a template, you can use it as is or trace it onto a heavier piece of paper like card stock or cereal box.  

Step Five:  

Place your template somewhere on your blank piece of paper and trace it.  Then place the template so that it fits into itself and trace again.  Repeat until your page is covered.  Trace the patter with a black marker or pen.

Step Six:  

Choose Colors for your design and color in with crayons, colored pencils, markers, or paint. 

Wrap up:  

How can changing the colors change your pattern? How did you work through your challenges working with the template?  

Congratulations you did it! You deserve a snack, an edible tessellation! 

5 Ingredient Monkey Bread  

easy monkey bread recipe 2

There are so many more STEAM projects out there and if you have a favorite or a new topic you’d like to see please let us know in the comments. 


Written by: The GSHPA Program Team

Happy Birthday Girl Scouts!

On March 12th we will be celebrating the 109th anniversary of when Juliette Gordon Low registered the first 18 Girl Scouts in Savannah, Georgia.  I’m sure Juliette could have never imagined the impact she would have on Girl Scouts, over a century later. With the organization turning 109 years old this year, has anything changed from Juliette’s original vision? 

During a time when women still could not vote in 1912, Juliette wanted to defy standards of the time, and give girls the chance to gain skills, and become more independent.  Skills including knot tying, harvesting food, and canning goods.  The first Girl Scouts were encouraged to get outdoors, to camp, to hike and to play basketball. Community service projects and Take Action projects became a huge part of Girl Scouts especially when the Great Depression and World War II started.  The cookie program was also started by Juliette, as a way to raise funds for her Girl Scout troops.   

Looking at the Girl Scout values of today, not much has changed.  Girl Scouts continue to build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.  Girl Scouts can explore interests and learn new skills while working on badges that center around STEM, outdoors, life skills and entrepreneurship.   The organization empowers girls to make connections so that they can make a difference in their community.  All these years later, you cannot mention Girl Scouts without someone asking about buying Girl Scout cookies.  We want girls to continue to chase their curiosity and dream big, in a girl only safe space. 

The only changes we have seen in the last 109 years is the number of Girl Scout members, going from the original 18 in 1912 to over 2 million today. We need to celebrate not only because Girl Scouts is turning 109 years old next week, but also because our values and goals have changed very little since Juliette Gordon Low first registered the original 18 members.  During the next week, take the time to celebrate this achievement.  Leading up to March 12th, your troop could celebrate by having a small party at their troop meeting.  What would a party be without eating some cake or cupcakes (maybe try incorporating your favorite Girl Scout cookies like this S’more campfire cupcake recipe from Little Brownie Bakers)? During your party your troop could sing their favorite Girl Scouts songs like “Make New Friends” and “Princess Pat”.  To end this celebration, play a game of pin the petal on a daisy.  No matter how you decide to celebrate this year, take the time to reflect on the Girl Scout first meeting, all those years ago.  

Happy Birthday Girl Scouts! We hope you had the BEST Girl Scout week. We want to see how you celebrated. Tag us on Facebook or on Instagram. You could be featured in an upcoming blog post!


Written by Gina
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SWAPS

Girl Scouts is an organization with a rich history of traditions. One of my personal favorites is the tradition of exchanging, “Special Whatchamacallits Affectionately Pinned Somewhere,” also lovingly known as SWAPS. These “Special Whatchamacallits” have been a part of our Girl Scout history since they first appeared in the 1950s and 60s at national Senior Roundup events. These items are small in nature but serve as the perfect reminders of Girl Scout memories and friends. Typically, SWAPS are small enough to pin to a hat or backpack, and have a tag that shares contact information for the troop or girl that is exchanging the SWAPS.  

In my experience as a young Girl Scout, I most often saw SWAPS exchanges while at summer camp or large events. Nowadays there are ways to send SWAPS nationwide, similar to a pen pal connection. Back in September of 2020, one of our GSHPA volunteers told me of how her troop had spent all summer exchanging SWAPS with troops not only nationwide, but worldwide! After hearing that, she and I agreed that a SWAPS exchange within GSHPA would be a fun way for girls to connect safely during the pandemic, and thus the GSHPA SWAPS Exchange event was born!  

We had 9 Juliettes and 66 troops participate in our first GSHPA SWAPS exchange. Now not only did participants get to connect with troops across our council footprint, they also got to show their creativity in more ways than one! Our girls thought of some very creative SWAPS ideas to fit our winter theme, but they also used their creativity to find a way to make these SWAPS during the pandemic, at a time that in person troop meetings were not allowed. Again and again throughout the pandemic I have been amazed at how well our girls handle the ever-constant change, and adapt to our new virtual way of life. With Zoom meetings happening for school and other extracurricular activities like Girl Scouts, it is so great to see the girls’ creativity continue to shine through! I don’t know about you, but it makes me super proud to be a Girl Scout! 


Post by Colleen Sypien, Volunteer Support Coordinator

National Brownie Day

Did you know December 8th is National Brownie Day? Well, now you know! Every year, the delicious desserts we recognize as brownies are celebrated on December 8th. As Girl Scouts, we know this tasty dessert is not the only “brownie” that deserves to be celebrated! Brownies, the second program level in Girl Scouts, is open to girls in grades 2-3. So why not take National Brownie Day to celebrate both the scrumptious and the scouting?   

Check out these 5 easy ways to celebrate National Brownie Day with your favorite Brownies this year!  

  1. Bake and eat brownies with a Girl Scout twist! Enjoy some warm, chocolatey brownies with your favorite Girl Scout cookie added to the mix!  
  1. Explore the history behind brownies! Have you ever wondered how brownies came to be? National Brownie Day is the perfect day to explore the history of each one! We recommend starting with the chocolatey dessert! You can take this time to research who invented them and how they became such a classic dessert! Can you guess the 5 ingredients that make up the classic brownie recipe?  

Additionally, you can have fun learning about how Girl Scouts became known as “Brownies”. Did you know that Girl Scout Brownies were originally called “Rosebuds,” but the name was later changed? The term “Brownies” was suggested by Lord Robert Baden-Powell, a close friend of Juliette Gordon Low. The term was originally used in folktales to describe small individuals who were both helpful and magical, also known as fairies! Various versions of these classic stories have been included in the Brownie handbooks over the years, and they are the basis for the traditional Brownie investiture ceremony. Check out the Brownie Story here.   

  1. Learn a Girl Scout brownie song and make a new one! As Girl Scouts, we love to get together with our friends and sing. Learn the “Brownie Smile” song below and then try creating your very own song! Maybe you can even include lyrics about your favorite brownie desserts! 
  1. Make brownie inspired SWAPS! SWAPS stands for “Special Whatchamacallits Affectionately Pinned Somewhere”. Traditionally, these are made by Girl Scouts to exchange with others as tokens of friendship! So to celebrate National Brownie Day try making brownie inspired SWAPS. If you would like to recreate the one pictured you will just need a sponge, construction paper, brown paint, writing tool, and glue!  
  1. Recognize a special brownie in your life! It’s National Brownie Day? What better day to thank a Girl Scout Brownie with a nice treat! Make a card or write a letter for a helper making your life sweeter!  

Post by Gabby Dietrich