Monday, February 20, 2017

Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois Sponsors First All Girl Scout LittleBits Global Chapter

Girl Scouts has always introduced girls to new and exciting programs that enhance their knowledge and skills, piquing their interests in new activities and ideas.

Today, Girl Scouts is leading the way in engaging girls in the growing fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Not only do girls get to investigate possible career paths for their futures, but they also develop valuable skills such as problem solving, innovation and collaboration.

GSSI offers girls a variety of STEM programming, including hosting robotics teams in three leagues and holding two STEM-themed summer day camps. Regularly occurring STEM programs give girls hands-on experience in activities such as plant and animal science, aerospace and rocketry, physics and chemistry, engineering, geology, coding, forensics and more.

One recently introduced GSSI program is littleBits. Headed by STEM Program Manager Emily Stanley, littleBits design challenges offer girls the chance to learn about the engineering design process and develop critical thinking skills.

littleBits are easy-to-use electronic building blocks that allows girls to create prototypes and inventions. With the growing interest in the STEM field in the scouting community, the littleBits program is a wonderful way to introduce those girls to these certain fields of interest while building their love for the program and field through these hands on activities. Currently, GSSI is the first and only Girl Scout sponsored littleBits Global Chapter.

“Any girl that is interested in finding her inner inventor can try her hand and play with the littleBits”, said Stanley. “Not only are these programs a wonderful way for the girls to start learning how to use the blocks and get a feel for them, but they’ll also get hands on experience and actually build a prototype out of recycled materials and take it home at the end of the day.”

Stanley added, “GSSI has seen remarkable growth in the number of girls served through our STEM programs. In 2009, we served just over 1,200 girls in STEM. In 2016, we were up to 3,000.”

Following this trend, she expects interest in the new littleBits program to continue grow.  Recurring programs featuring littleBits design challenges are being planned for the future and GSSI Day Camps will also be offered the opportunity to use LittleBits for their programming.

To learn more about GSSI’s littleBits program or other STEM activities, please contact Emily Stanley at 800.345.6858 or

Recent photos of GSSI Girl Scouts taking part in a LittleBits Design Challenge:

Feature by GSSI Intern Nicolle Patton