Monday, April 13, 2015

Gold Girl Scout Spotlight: Gwendolyn Cochran

Today's Gold Girl Scout Spotlight is Gwendolyn Cochran, who empowered middle and high school girls in her community to be more engaged in the fields of math and science.  Congratulations on earning your Gold Award, Gwendolyn! 

The Dripping Springs community lacked a strong foundation of young women interested in the sciences. There was an absence of female members of the Robotics Club, the Physics Club, and active member’s math and science UIL events.

I targeted this problem in a two part project, first by implementing the Women in Math and Science clubs at the Dripping Springs High School. And secondly, by organizing and leading a symposium to rally young women together and engender them to be more active in the science communities at the middle and high school levels. With this project I engaged young women in my community to be involved in the math and sciences and give them useful contacts and opportunities to get involved in Dripping Springs. 

My club at the school will continue to engender school age girls to be active in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and expand their horizons.  I created a sustainable and beneficial foundation of girls to be inspired and get involved in expanding female influences at school and around our community. 

While the symposium was a one day event, it created a foundation for the group to begin being noticeably active and emphasized the importance of participating in math and science-based extracurricular events occurring locally. The club will be sustained at the high school level by new members taking over as seniors graduate, our teacher sponsor’s continued support, and the affiliation with the longstanding Inventor’s Club on campus. The community now has, and will continue to have, a larger amount of girls empowered to take action in math and the sciences. 

My advice for younger girls would be to first and foremost pick a topic that you feel passionate about, because you will devote a large majority of time and soul into this project. Secondly, never be afraid to ask for help from volunteers and troop members. Chances are if you are passionate about something, so is someone else who would love to get involved. Lastly, keep your head up! This isn’t a project to get just for the prestige of saying you earned it, it is a chance to inspire change. When you face a great challenge, which you undoubtably will, do not give up. Look for a different perspective, because from a different angle a mountain might seem like a molehill.

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