Last year my guider friend Alison told me about a really interesting program called ENGspire. ENGspire is a non-profit company that focuses on matching up Girl Guide groups with Female Engineers. The Engineers bring with them amazing activities that teach the girls about the wonders of engineering and expose them to a variety of types of engineers.
This year the ENGspire crew created a fabulous program called Super Engineers! The activities all followed a storyline about being captured and hidden away on an island. Using limited materials and their super engineering skills the girls would have to build a flashlight, learn the basics of coding and build a catapult.
The first activity was for the girls to build a flashlight. Using a battery and an LED the girls explored simple circuits and how the positive and negative ends of the LED had to be manipulated to create light. Once they created the circuit they used some foam and card stock to make a flashlight that worked when you pressed the sides together. These were a ton of fun and a HUGE hit with the girls!
The next activity was an introduction to Coding. The girls were told that now they had found their way out of a maze. They worked in partners to plot their way through the maze using a map. breaking down their instructions step by step was a challenge for the girls but they persevered. Once the girls thought they had the maze figured out they got to give the life-sized map a try. The girls LOVED trying out their instructions on the big map.
The last activity was a crowd favourite - Making Catapults! In the ENGspire Story the girls had to make a catapult to launch themselves off of the island. The girls put these together fairly quickly and got to play with them for the rest of the meeting.
This was a truly wonderful meeting and I can't promote this company any more. The program did have a cost but it was very minimal ($25 for up to 25 girls). They supply you with all of the craft/activity supplies as well as a crest for everyone. For more information click the following link: http://www.engspire.org/