What are the Mechanical Engineering Badges?
Last summer, GSUSA released new STEM badges nationally. There are new badges and journeys for each level of Girl Scouts. Six of the new awards are Mechanical Engineering badges, where girls explore the engineering process with fun, hands-on activities. These badges are unique because they approach STEM in a new way using trial and error as a main focus. The girls are encouraged to make mistakes, and then try again and again, as they learn how to become innovators and problem solvers.
The six new Mechanical Engineering Badges are all described in detail on the Volunteer Toolkit:
- Daisy Board Game Design Challenge
- Daisy Model Car Design Challenge
- Daisy Roller Coaster Design Challenge
- Brownie Fling Flier Design Challenge
- Brownie Leap Bot Design Challenge
- Brownie Race Car Design Challenge
What are the GoldieBlox kits?
GSUSA partnered with GoldieBlox to offer custom kits that troops could use to earn their Mechanical Engineering badges. Each kit contains all of the materials necessary to earn any of the three Daisy Mechanical Engineering badges and the three Brownie Mechanical Engineering badges. The kit contains pieces that snap, click, or link together that girls use to create innovative new designs.
What is the availability of GoldieBlox kits?
Last year, GSUSA partnered with GoldieBlox to offer specially priced kits that troops could use to earn their Mechanical Engineering badges. Due to supply chain limitations, Girl Scouts can no longer order the kits. However, the kits that troops and councils have already purchased can still be used to complete the Mechanical Engineering badges. Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI) purchased GoldieBlox kits, and these kits are now available for you to rent!
How will girls earn their Mechanical Engineering badges if they don’t have GoldieBlox kits?
GSUSA has created “unplugged” or “DIY” Mechanical Engineering badge requirements for Daisies and Brownies. (“Unplugged” or “DIY” means that the activities can be done with common household objects rather than a special kit.)
Plus, GSGCNWI ordered GoldieBlox kits that you can rent! Here are the details about how to rent a kit:
- Visit a GSGCNWI Shop and complete a rental agreement.
- Rent a kit from GSGCNWI for four (4) weeks at the discounted price of $35.
- Get access to all the kit’s pieces needed to complete the the Mechanical Engineering badges for a Daisy or Brownie troop of up to 12 girls.
- You can even save yourself a trip and buy the badges while you rent your kit.
Now Daisies and Brownies will have three options for earning their Mechanical Engineering badges:
- They can use the unplugged/DIY version. The directions for the DIY version are on the Volunteer Toolkit online.
- They can rent a GoldieBlox kit from a GSGCNWI Shop location.
- They can use GoldieBlox kits if they already have them.
How can volunteers and girls get the new DIY requirements?
PDFs of the new DIY requirements are posted on the Volunteer Toolkit online.
How can volunteers get the current GoldieBlox requirements?
Troop leaders who have GoldieBlox kits can find the current GoldieBlox badge requirements on the Volunteer Toolkit. The current GoldieBlox badge requirements and physical badges are not included in the GoldieBlox kits.
What about the physical badges?
The physical badges will remain the same for Daisies and Brownies. They can be purchased at any GSGCNWI Shop location and online.
And a final note…
We’re grateful to GoldieBlox for their collaboration and for their diligent efforts to find a solution to the inventory issue. As engineers say: Let’s try something new. We will either succeed or we will learn something. We succeeded in creating new STEM badges that are fun for girls to earn and easy for volunteers to facilitate. We learned a great deal about meeting demand for program-related products. We’ll use that knowledge as we continue to test new ways to give girls a great STEM experience.
Thank you for your patience and understanding. If you have questions, please contact:
Council Programming and GoldiBlox Rental: Rose Coughlen, Manager of STEAM Programming, 312.912.6309 or RCoughlen@girlscoutsgcnwi.org