Girl Scouts of Maine Troop Dives Into Environmental Science

Maine Girl Scouts visit Shaw Institute

Shaw Institute Guides Troop 823 Through Research and Analysis of Plastic Pollution and Coastal Bacteria

As part of an ongoing effort to expand our community outreach, we recently hosted a series of research and educational activities for Troop 823 of Girl Scouts of Maine. The Troop is made up of daisies, brownies, juniors, and cadets, representing a variety of  ages.

“It’s beyond cool to learn that the Girl Scouts have two badges they can earn which revolve around science,” said Dr. Charlie Rolsky, executive director of the Shaw Institute. “These interactions with Troop 823 were a wonderful opportunity for us to connect research with community outreach and the next generation of scientists.”

We kicked things off with an educational experience at The Gatherings, in Surry, on September 28, where our team delivered an interactive session about the scientific method and using it in simulated scenarios. We did a variety of sensory activities so the Scouts could understand the steps in the scientific method – especially making observations using the five senses.

Girl Scouts with Shaw Institute
Dani Rodriguez and Dr. Charlie Rolsky deliver a science presentation to Troop 823.

Lab Work

We then brought Troop 823 back to our facility for two lab sessions, where they were directly immersed into real scientific analysis and observation:

  • October 7 – They analyzed and identified different types of plastic waste that they brought from their homes. It was an opportunity to put the tools of science in their hands, as they analysis was completed using our microscopes and spectrometer machine.

October 21 – The girls once again were in the lab, this time peering through our microscopes to analyze bacteria collected in waters along the coastline of the Blue Hill Peninsula.

The entire experience proved to be rewarding for our entire team, and it certainly was in step with the Girl Scouts motto of “Be Prepared.”

Girl Scout on microscope at Shaw Institute
A member of Troop 823 was busy observing plastic debris under the microscope.

“Working with the Girl Scouts of Maine has empowered us to build on our community outreach efforts, which is something very important to us,” said Dani Rodriguez, who leads our intern program and special projects. “These types of experiences make sure that kids of all ages are not only prepared for the environmental challenges ahead of them, but also prepared for being the type of stewards needed for protecting the natural world around them, now and for future generations.”

Let’s Work Together!

In addition to lab experiences, our team at the Shaw Institute provides a variety of educational opportunities, for youth and adults. View those HERE.

Plus, we are very close to securing funding for a new educational touch tank! After many conversations with members of our community, we realized how enjoyable and valued our previous touch tank had been. Thus, we are well on the way to bringing one back. But we need your help, so to learn more about this exciting opportunity, click HERE.