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Engineering Vols Help Girl Scouts “Think Like Engineers” for Badge Day

Betsy Chesnutt, lecturer in Engineering Fundamentals, worked with the Girl Scouts Beaver Creek Service Unit Leadership Team in August 2022 to organize a “Think Like an Engineer” Journey-in-a-Day for Cadette and Senior level girl scouts (grades 6 to 10).

Scout leader Nicole Berkheimer contacted the college to connect for the event, and Chesnutt called for volunteers from her EF 327 class and the UT Society of Women Engineers. The Vol team guided the scouts through four activities.

“The main focus was on engineering design and teamwork,” said Chesnutt. “The girls earned multiple badges in this day to complete a Think Like an Engineer Journey.”

The activities included building a solar oven; designing and building a “harmless holder”—a drink holder that would not harm animals; creating a kinetic sculpture that moved; and the “Take Action Project,” in which the scouts made videos about engineering and/or the projects they complete in the workshop.

“Everyone had a great time, and the event was very successful,” said Chesnutt. “Based partly on the success of this event, we have decided to expand our outreach work with Girl Scouts in the future.”

Participating students from the EF327 (Engineering in K-12 Education) class were Madeleine Smith, Elle White, James Carnal, Michael Adriaanse, and David Anderson.

Society of Women Engineers members who volunteered for the day were Alaina Washington, Neela Baker, Rethika Ambalam, Yaren Dogan, Regina Ratkovich, and Annis Arockia Raj.