This lovely crest has been developed by Engineers Canada as part of their Engaging Girls program. Their website reads:
Engineers Canada has developed and released a Girl Guides crest, to be presented to Girl Guides who complete engineering-related activities under the supervision of a professional engineer or an engineer-in-training. These activities—such as those that present an understanding of how vehicles work, the concept of simple machines, how lipstick is made, to name just a few—expose young girls to the engineering that can be found in everyday life and give them an understanding of how the world around them works.
Anyone interested in using the crest can contact Engineers Canada to confirm conditions of use and order required quantities.
If you have an engineer coming into your meeting to do a presentation to the girls, you may want to inquire about the crest. Contact information in on the Engaging Girls page.
This week we finished working on the Invention badge. We’ve taken our ideas from the Meeting In A Box: Inventing from Quebec.
This week we split the girls up into two groups. Each group did a different activity at one end of the gym and then we switched. We have a large unit so this gave each girl more of an opportunity to participate.
At one end of the gym we ran Invention Jeopardy using the questions from the meeting in a box.
At the other end of the gym we ran Inventor Speed Improv.
This was an exciting night because for some of our third year girls this was the last challenge they needed to finish their squares. Just a few pieces of the Lady BP challenge to finish off for them now.
This week we started working on the Invention badge. I’ve been looking at this badge for a couple of years and I had difficulty figuring out how to make it fun. Luckily for me, other Guiders had more luck. We’re using the Meeting In A Box: Inventing as our guide. But I also found some great ideas from the Caladonia Girl Guides. We’re going to spread the badge out over two weeks so we don’t need to feel rushed.
This week we worked mostly in Patrols. We started with the intro activity and had each patrol discuss what inventors they knew, whether or not they thought they could be an inventor and what qualities you’d need to be an inventor. They shared their thoughts at horseshoe after our opening.
Then we went onto the second activity. Each patrol was give four current inventions to use as inspiration. They had to combine and two of them into a new invention. Then prepare a poster and a skit marketing their invention.
I will admit I’ve looked at the inventing badge a number of times but I could just never see a way to make it fun for the girls. In the book the badge looks so dry. Then I came across this meeting from Quebec’s collection of Meetings in a Box on Inventing. So much more fun then anything I would have come up with on my own. This is why I value instant meetings so much.
Additional fun ideas for this badge can be found on blog of the Caledonia Girl Guides.
The only permanent rule in Calvinball is that you can never play it the same way twice!
—Calvin, Calvin and Hobbes
In the comic Calvin and Hobbes, the pair were often seen playing Calvinball. A game in which a variety of sporting equipment was used and the rules were never the same twice. You can reproduce this in your unit. This is ideally done in a big space. Give each patrol a selection of sporting equipment such as balls, hoops, skipping ropes, rackets etc. Give each patrol 15 min to agree to some rules for their game and then another 15 min to try their game out. Then have them share with the unit what went well and what they would change if they were to play again.
We tried out the kits from Engspire for their Crazy Contraption meeting. We lead it on our own as we planned this meeting too late to apply for a facilitator (maybe next year). The kit came with two activities.
Opening Game: The game contained a set of cards with different engineers on each card. The girls were suppose to read their card and then imagine what it would be like to be that kind of engineer. Then the Guiders asked questions like “Would your engineer use a computer?” and the girls were to move to one end of the gym if they though the answer was yes and the other if they thought the answer was no. The cards represented a good diversity of engineering fields but used some language that was difficult for some of our girls. Even the symbols were unfamiliar to some of the girls.
The Contraption Kits: We split the girls into groups of 5. Each group was given one contraption kit to start. They were given 15 mins to try and build that one kit. Most of the girls got the the kit built in the 15 min. Then they were given four more kits and told to figure out how to build the rest in 20 min. Some groups had one person assembling each kit. Some groups went with more of an assembly line method. Even so, the kits were tricky and the girls had trouble keeping them together even once they were built.
We might try a different Engspire meeting next year but I don’t think I’d want to do this one again.
March is National Engineering Month. Engspire Youth Programs has a number of ideas on how you can celebrate it with your unit. They have to free instant meetings: Don’t Wake Mom! which is a sound proofing experiment and Mission to Mars in which the girls build a balloon powered Mars rover. They also have a kit you can purchase call Crazy Contraptions which includes all the requirements for an instant meeting, 10 cam toys and 10 crests for $20.