By: Heather Noel, Dallas Innovates
The moment had arrived.
A group of Girl Scouts gathered around a roller coaster track fashioned from polyethylene foam. One girl held a marble at the top of the track readied for a signal.
“Three, two, one. Go!” the girls shouted in unison.
The marble slid smoothly down the pathway, weaving through holes in a collection of rolling chairs, before coming to a halt well shy of its final destination.
“The sides are lower. We need to reinforce the sides,” 10-year-old Girl Scout Abiba Moncriffe explained to her teammates.
The exercise — designed to demonstrate the concepts of potential and kinetic energy — was part of the first programming held recently at Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas’ STEM Center of Excellence at Camp Whispering Cedars.
The 92-acre camp about 20 minutes southwest of downtown Dallas is transitioning into a $13 million living laboratory where girls can explore science, technology, engineering, and math.
GSNETX CEO Jennifer Bartkowski said other councils in the nation have opened STEM-focused buildings, but to her knowledge the Dallas property will be the only entire camp dedicated to STEM.
“Girl Scouts is known for cookies, camps, and crafts — and we are absolutely those things — but we are so much more,” said GSNETX CEO Jennifer Bartkowski.
Earlier in the d...