Hello, my name is Allison and I am a recent graduate of Anderson High School. I was also a Girl Scout with the GSCTX Bluebonnet Valley Service Unit. My adventures in Girl Scouting began in kindergarten when my mom helped form a troop. Troop 1526 remained strong throughout elementary school. We went on several camping trips and completed badges. My troop also sold cookies and completed our Bronze Award together. In middle school, we found new ways to have fun with outings we liked to call, “Mystery Weekends.” The leaders and parents planned everything out but didn’t tell us where we going until we got to our destination. High school was more focused on community service. Several of us became involved in other extracurricular activities during this time like band or athletics. As a troop, we still treasured all the adventures we went on and time we spent together.
My personal adventures with Girl Scouts continued and extended beyond the traditional troop setting. Four years ago, I was introduced to a STEM program called FIRST. FIRST is an internal organization designed to get students involved and excited about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. A few months later, the GSCTX council announced its supports of the program and Girl Scout robotics teams. I found a few friends to join and with the gracious help of the UT Robotic Automation Society and the Anderson High School FRC team, my team learned how to use screwdrivers, wrenches, hand drills and other tools I didn’t know about before FIRST. We successfully built a robot in six weeks and earned the Rookie Inspiration Award at a regional competition in Houston that year. However, FIRST is more than just winning, it’s about learning from your mistakes and working with others, promoting your team and getting everyone involved in STEM.
Our team of seven turned into twenty over four years. Girls as young as sixth grade have joined our ranks of robot builders. We’ve taken the robot we built to more than 100 demonstrations in the community. It became our mission to encourage girls to participate in STEM activities. To say that the partnership between GSCTX and FIRST has changed my life is an understatement. Before FIRST, I was destined to be a dancer in the theater world, but I now seeing myself in engineering field. I will study Mechanical Engineering in the fall at UT Austin and I can’t imagine at this point doing anything else. I also plan to remain involved with FIRST as a mentor.
For more information on STEM and FIRST, visit the Girl Scout website.