Changing the World with STEM

Laurie Gilson, Olathe, Kansas

“STEM is my passion and I can use it to change the world,” Laurie Gilson, Ambassador Girl Scout says. For this Girl Scout and leader, STEM is the pathway to the future. In Fall of 2015, Laurie attended the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) national conference as a future innovator, proudly showing off her Girl Scout connection. For this fourth generation Girl Scout, the organization was essential in developing her love of STEM. Imagine the advancements that could be made if all girls were exposed to STEM at a young age like Laurie. Because of you, thousands of girls across the 47 county region are getting the chance to be inspired and become the leaders of tomorrow.

Laurie’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) journey started very young through the “Try It” badges that allowed her to try new things without fear of being criticized for failure. “The key to engineering is being able to fail often and learn from it and a lot of times girls aren’t willing to fail in front of others. In Girl Scouts, it was a safe place for me to try things and see if it worked or didn’t,” Laurie said.

With this in mind, Laurie decided to encourage exploration with elementary school students interested in STEM. For her Gold Award project, Laurie developed a 5th grade robotics team at a local elementary school to compete at the First Robotics competition. The team built a robot named Unicorn with interchangeable arms and had to complete tasks, like pushing an object, at the competition. What an amazing opportunity for Laurie and her team of young engineers – an experience you made possible by supporting Girl Scouts! Because of a lifetime of learning courage, confidence and character, Laurie has the strength to do what she loves and makes a difference because of it. Thank you for supporting a safe environment for girls to explore and develop their STEM skills.