HARRISBURG – Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania (GSHPA) hosted its first of three “Spark Curiosity” events for Girl Scouts to explore the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM). The event took place on Saturday, March 23rd at the Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, PA from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

About 130 Girl Scouts grades kindergarten through 12 attended. Generous sponsors made it possible to offer the event for free, including PPL Foundation and the Pennsylvania College of Technology. Additional sponsors included:

• Airie Knipel, Harry V. and J. William Warehime Foundation

• The Anne Brossman Sweigart Charitable Foundation

• Capital Blue Cross

• The Dime Bank

• Fidelity Deposit and Discount Bank

• First National Bank

• Franklin H. and Ruth L. Wells Foundation

• Glatfelter Insurance Group

• The Hershey Company

• Hershey Entertainment and Resorts

• Fulton Bank

• The Mattioli Foundation

• Messiah College School of the Arts

• Pocono Raceway

• The Powder Mill Foundation

• The Rite Aid Foundation

• The Donald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler Foundation

• UGI Utilities, Inc

• UPMC Health Plan

• Weis Markets, Inc.

• West Pharmaceuticals

• Woodlands Bank

The event kicked off with presentations from Tracie Witter, Regional Affairs Director at PPL Electric Utilities, and Carolyn Strickland, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Associate Provost at the Pennsylvania College of Technology, who each showcased many STEAM-related career options and accomplishments for the girls’ consideration. The presentations set the stage for the day and introduced girls to the idea of thinking outside of the box and exploring career paths traditionally male-dominated. 

Throughout the rest of the day, the girls could choose from nearly twenty workshops to attend, all featuring different STEAM-related hands-on activities. Workshops included:

• Comic Artist – Girls learned how to draw comic strips

• Woodworking – Girls built and stained their own GSHPA toolboxes

• New Cuisine – Girls prepared exquisite meals to try

• Budgeting and Babysitting – Girls learned how to budget their babysitting money

• Eating For You – Girls learned about eating a healthy diet and getting proper nutrients

• Car Care – Girls learned basic car maintenance

• Game Visionary – Girls designed an escape room

• Behind the Ballot – Girls participated in a thoughtful debate about reducing the voting age to 16

• Dental Hygiene – Girls learned and practiced proper mouth care on dummies

All workshops were led by various Pennsylvania College of Technology staff and students who felt passionate about “sparking curiosity” in Girl Scouts. Older girls and younger girls alike benefited from the hands-on workshops throughout the day.

“It’s a really interesting perspective that you wouldn’t get otherwise, because you work with so many different people of different ages and areas,” said Lauren K., 16-year-old Girl Scout.

And, 7-year-old Girl Scout Lucy J. said, “My favorite part about today was getting to use a hammer to make my own toolbox!”

GSHPA has two more upcoming events planned to “spark curiosity” for Girl Scouts, including:

• G.I.R.L. Create at the York Expo Center – focus on arts

Saturday, April 27th, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Expected attendance: 500 Girl Scouts grades K – 12

• G.I.R.L. Innovate at Pocono Raceway

Saturday, May 4th – 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Expected attendance: 500 Girl Scouts grades K – 12

Like the G.I.R.L. STEM Lab at Pennsylvania College of Technology, both upcoming events will feature dozens of hands-on activities for Girl Scouts to immerse themselves in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. Girls can register for FREE by visiting www.gshpa.org and navigating to the event calendar.