Seniors at Home
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Seniors (Grades 9-10) at Home

Girl Scout Seniors is the fifth level in Girl Scouts and is open to girls in grades 9-10.

Girl Scout Seniors are ready to take the world by storm—and at Girl Scouts, there are millions of ways to do it. Whether it’s being a positive role model to younger girls, tackling an important international issue or earning her Girl Scout Gold Award, it all adds that “little something extra” to college and scholarship applications.

We recognize that with coronavirus, everything is changing rapidly. Girl Scouts wants to be here with you during this change so we’re moving quickly as we can to bring content to you that is fun, engaging, and helps you relax and reduce your stress.

The activities below have been adapted from existing Girl Scout programming and optimized for use at home during a period of social distancing.

Not a Girl Scout? Not a problem! We're making select Girl Scout program resources available to every girl, parent, and caregiver. It's our way of doing our part during these challenging times, and to do what Girl Scouts always do: make the world a better place. And of course, if you'd like to learn more about joining Girl Scouts, we're here for you!


STEM Activities

Senior Cybersecurity Basics

Explore how cybersecurity professionals use functions and privileges to keep computer networks safe. They practice labeling real-life objects based on their functions and privileges to learn about the principles of resource encapsulation and least privilege.

Adapted from step two of the Senior Cybersecurity Basics badge.

Purpose: Explore how cybersecurity professionals use functions and privileges to keep computer networks safe. They practice labeling real-life objects based on their functions and privileges to learn about the principles of resource encapsulation and least privilege.

Setup: Not frosting a cake before baking it is an example of resource encapsulation. This cybersecurity idea labels parts of the program or data based on who can use it and how it’s used. This protects the code or data from revealing any more about itself than it needs to run a program. Programmers bundle, or encapsulate, data and label it. While all the contents of the bundle still work, encapsulation means the user and the rest of the program don’t have access to the details.

A related idea is least privilege. That means as few people as necessary should have access to digital “stuff.” Identifying who can use computer hardware, programs, and data—and limiting how they can be used—limits the way hackers make trouble.

Time needed: 25 minutes

Materials needed:

  • Pad of sticky notes
  • Pen

Activity:

First, choose an object anywhere in your house that’s a container, like a refrigerator, someone's backpack, a drawer, or a leftovers container in the refrigerator.

Then, on a sticky note, write down the kinds of objects that can “use” or go along with your object. This is called USE.

For example: what objects should go inside a drawer, a backpack, or a refrigerator? What objects go in the bathroom?

On a second sticky note, write down who can use this object—and who cannot use this object. Be as specific as possible. These are called PRIVILEGES (or permissions, depending on the specific computer system).

Think about who might be in proximity to these devices at any given time: family members, friends, neighbors, etc. Label each object with examples of people who should have access and those who should not.

On a third sticky note, write down instructions about how to use your object. This is called OPERATIONS. In particular, think about any security features and ways to access the object.

For example: A backpack might have a zipper or a bathroom might have a lock.

Next, choose another “container” object and label its uses, privileges, and operations.

Sample Object: Bathroom Drawer

Use: For storing toiletries like brushes, combs, makeup, spray, deodorant, etc.

Privilege: Private, girl and family only; no guests or strangers.

Operations: The drawer is not locked. Items inside can be used by anyone with access to the drawer. Typically, new additions to the drawer are placed at the top, which may make the objects at the bottom harder to see.

Then, wrap up the activity by reading the Things to Know below.

THINGS TO KNOW:

It's important to limit access to digital objects in order to keep them safe. A digital object might be data, user information, software programs, and so on—it's anything that is stored on a computer.

Limiting access is called encapsulation. Labels are attached to each digital object to identify what can use it, who can use it, and how it can be used.
Think of this like an access code that you'd use to go into a building. Your code might allow you to go through the front door, get in the elevator, and get into your office. However, your code might not let you open other doors or go to other floors where, for example, top-secret research is being done.

Least privilege means that as few people as necessary should have access to digital "stuff." For example, if you let someone use your computer, have them sign on as a guest, rather than using your account and privileges.
If you have extra time, repeat the labeling process again with a few other objects.

Senior Think Like a Citizen Scientist

Explore how scientists solve problems as you create a test to learn more about your environment. Then, find out how you can help real scientists with their research! 
Adapted from meetings one and two of the Senior Think Like a Citizen Scientist Journey.

Set-Up: Scientists study nature and conduct research to better understand how it works. They use what they learn to create solutions that help people, animals, and the environment. To learn new things and do research, scientists use a process called the scientific method.

Citizen science is when a scientist asks regular citizens to help with their research. It’s a way for everyday people to help scientists advance research.

Activity: To get started, gather a few sheets of blank paper, a pencil, and some markers or colored pencils. You’ll also need a set of “field tools” to help you to take field notes about your environment. You might want to include tools you have around the house, like a ruler, magnifying glass, camera, and thermometer.

Part 1: Make observations about your environment.

Observation is watching and noticing something using all of your senses, especially sight. Observations are a type of data. Data simply means information. It can be notes, drawings, photos, recordings or videos of what you see and hear.

Start by taking a minute to make some observations about your environment (the world around you!).

If you can, go outside, but it’s alright if you’re indoors—there are still plenty of things to observe! Walk around and explore your surroundings. With your pencil and paper, collect data by writing or drawing what you observe. Make sure to add lots of detail to your data, like information about size, quantity , or color. If you have questions about what you’re observing, write them down, too!

Part 2: Form scientific questions and hypotheses.

As scientists collect data, they ask scientific questions about their observations. Once scientists have a scientific question, they make an educated guess, or form a hypothesis, about what they think the answer is. The hypothesis can be tested to see what parts (if any) can be confirmed.

Once you have some observations, choose your 3 most interesting and form 2 scientific questions for each. If you’re wondering if your question is scientific, ask yourself: Is this testable? How could I find an answer? What experiment or test could I conduct?

Then, choose one question that: 1) you’re interested in trying to answer through more observation, and 2) you could collect data and measurements about.

Finally, look back are your scientific question: what’s your hypothesis? Use what you already know or can reason to answer your scientific question.

Part 3: Test your hypothesis.

A hypothesis isn’t ever 100% right or wrong. If an experiment confirms a hypothesis, it just means that the scientist has more data about the subject, its environment, and how it interacts with the world.

So, once you have a hypothesis, design a way to test it and see what you can confirm! Create your research plan by deciding: 1) what field tools you’ll use and 2) what method or steps you’ll use to run the test. Make sure that you’ll be able to run your experiment. If needed, scale it down to something you can easily do with some simple observation!

Add “field tools” that help you learn more about you subject. For example, you might have tools to help you show what your subject looks like, how big it is, what it sounds like, or how many you see. Or, you might need to identify parts of nature and want to include field guide research as part of your plan.

Once you have a plan, test your hypothesis by observing your subject once more. This time, focus on taking field notes only on your subject. Use your set of “field tools” to add details about what your subject looks like, how big it is, what it sounds like, or how many you see. For example, you might use a ruler to measure the distance between two objects or a camera instead of sketching.

Part 4: Analyze your results.

When scientists come back from the field, they review their notes to make sure they’re detailed and think their data means. Thinking about and understanding data is called data analysis. Scientists might compare what they saw with other data, find a way to present it (like a graph, chart, etc.), or look at their data and decide they need to collect more!

So, look at your data and analyze what you think it means: do your results support your original hypothesis? Compare your results against your original hypothesis to form a conclusion.

Depending on your test, you may not be able to form a conclusion that answers your original question, and that’s okay! You’re still using the scientific method to learn something about your world, just like scientists.
When this happens to scientists, they might run their experiment again, collect data over a longer period of time, or change their entire research plan! It helps them to confirm that their results make logical sense.

Optional Part 5: Participate in a citizen science project.

Now you know about the scientific method, but what can you do next? Become a citizen scientist!

To help you get started, Girl Scouts of the USA has partnered with SciStarter to offer Girl Scout and volunteers a special portal to find and track citizen science projects.

SciStarter has almost 3,000 citizen science projects to choose from—and the dashboards include several citizen science projects that are well suited for Girl Scouts. There are projects that can be done in any season!

You can participate in Globe Observer from NASA and collect data about clouds, identify plants in your background with iNaturalist, or play an online game called StallCatchers to help with Alzheimer’s research.

Whatever part of nature you’re interested in, there’s a citizen project for you!

And that’s it! You’ve completed part of the Senior Think Like a Citizen Scientist Journey! If you had fun doing this, you might want to participate in a citizen science project or Take Action with the rest of the Think Like a Citizen Scientist Journey.

Senior Think Like an Engineer

Find out how engineers solve problems with the Design Thinking Process. Then, take on a design challenge to engineer a soda holder that helps protect animals and sea life!

Adapted from the Design Squad® Global "Harmless Holder" activity. © 2017 WGBH Educational Foundation. Design Squad is a registered trademark of the WGBH Educational Foundation. and Design Squad Global is a trademark of the WGBH Educational Foundation.

Purpose:

Find out how engineers solve problems with the Design Thinking Process. Then, take on a design challenge to engineer a soda holder that helps protect animals and sea life!

Set-Up:

Plastic rings are great for carrying cans, but they're a real problem when they become trash on a beach or in the ocean. When people litter, garbage like the plastic rings become harmful for birds, turtles, fish, and other animals. When the plastic ends up in the ocean, it breaks down into debris, called microplastics. Microplastics pollute the ocean and are often eaten by sea creatures, who may then be eaten by humans!

For this design challenge, follow the steps of the Design Thinking Process to engineer a prototype for a new and better way to hold a six-pack of soda cans that isn't harmful to animals. A prototype is a quick way to show an idea to others or to try it out. The Design Thinking Process is the steps engineers go through to solve problems. They: identify the problem, brainstorm and plan, build, test, and improve.

Time needed: 60 minutes

Materials needed:

  • 1 large piece of cardboard (1 x 2 ft or more)
  • 8 paint stirrers or dowels
  • Wax paper
  • Another type of paper, like white or newspaper
  • 20 rubber bands
  • 1 meter (39 inches) of string
  • 6 cans of soda
  • Duct or packing tape
  • Scissors
  • Paper
  • Pencil

Note: If you’re missing a material or have another idea for something that might be useful, free feel to test them. Trying out different ideas to see what works is something engineers do!

Activity:

To get started, Then, identify the problem you're trying to solve: engineer a soda holder that isn’t harmful to animals.

Then, spend a few minutes brainstorming the design of your holder. Sketch your ideas on sheets of scratch paper to create a plan that keeps in mind the criteria and constraints.

Criteria are things the design needs to accomplish. They’re the goals for a prototype. The criteria for the challenge is that your holder must: 1) hold six cans, 2) be easy to carry, 3) be safe for animals, and 4) be convenient for people to use.

Constraints are ways the design is limited. For example, there might only be a certain amount of time to build the prototype or a limited amount of materials to make it. The constraint for this challenge is that you can only use your challenge materials, including the cardboard, paint stirrers or dowels, wax paper, other paper, rubber bands, and string. If you also gathered other materials to use, feel free to try them out!

It might help to ask yourself questions like:

  • How can you hold six cans together?
  • How could you arrange the cans? On their sides? Stack them?
  • How can you easily remove the cans?
  • How will you carry the holder?
  • How are you going to keep the cans from falling out of the holder?

Once you have some ideas, choose one to turn into a prototype.

Then, use your plan and materials to build your holder. As you build, feel free to try lots of different ideas to see what works and doesn't work.

Remember, the goal is to practice thinking like an engineer, NOT to make a perfect holder!

When you think you have a finished holder, test it and see how well it works!

Before you start testing, what do you think will happen to your holder? Will it be able to meet the criteria? Take a guess!

Then, find out if you were right! Test your prototype by placing the cans in your holder and walking around the room.

During the test, you may find things that work and others that don’t. So, after testing, make sure to ask yourself: How could you improve the prototype?

Then, improve your holder using what you’ve learned. Once you have a new version, test it again to see if your changes worked!

Want More Challenge? Try This!

  • Design a holder that can hold more than six soda cans. See how many cans you can design it to hold!
  • Add another function to your holder. So your holder can hold cans, but what about lunch? What else can you design your holder to do?
  • Learn more about the materials that make up your holder. How could you make it more sustainable? How could it be improved to be better for the environment? What materials could you use?

Once you’ve created a can holder or any type of prototype, you can share it with others. They can help you to think of new ideas and look for ways to make your prototype even better.

And that’s it! You’ve completed a design challenge from the Senior Think Like an Engineer Journey! You’ve learned about the Design Thinking Process and used the steps to engineer a prototype of a soda holder that isn’t harmful to animals.

If you had fun with this design challenge, check out the other activities in the Think Like an Engineer Journey. Or, explore more about engineering and computer science with the Robotics badges.


Outdoor Activities

Girl Scouts Love the Outdoors Challenge

Summer is the perfect time to get outdoors safely while social distancing! While you’re at it, join the Girl Scouts Love the Outdoors Challengecomplete the designated number of activities and earn yourself a cool new patch. Use #gsoutdoors to share your story and to see how other girls are completing this fun outdoor challenge.


Life Skills Activities

Senior Truth Seeker

The news and information you see, hear and consume every day may be misleading and could be wrong. Investigate a speech given by a public figure and research the numbers, figures, and statistical assertions they’ve made and verify their truth.

Adapted from step two of the Senior Truth Seeker badge.

Time needed: 20-30 minutes

Materials needed: 

  • Pen 
  • Paper

Set-Up:

Public figures are influential people in their industry and in the world. They could be business leaders, actors, and hold government positions. Political leaders, such as mayors, governors, congressional leaders, presidents, prime ministers, often make speeches or statements on important issues.

To get started, you will need access to the internet to find a video of a speech given by a public figure, and pen and paper for note taking and research.

Begin by investigating some public figures on a topic that has been making the headlines. Research websites on the topic, including news sites and videos of pre-recorded speeches, interviews or press conferences. You may consider watching the news as well.

After you’ve made your selection, jot down facts and figures being shared and note how they’re used to support the speaker’s views.

Next, review your notes and begin your online investigation of the data shared through other sources. What were you most surprised to learn? What sources did you turn to? Why would you trust a source over another?


Service Project Opportunities

DIY Mask-Making

Take action to keep your community safe and healthy by making face masks and donating them to organizations in need. Get instructions on how to make DIY homemade masks and a list of organizations requesting mask donations here.

Now, with this nationwide mask-making campaign, all girls have the chance to step up to help their friends, neighbors, and frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. And we’ve partnered with Feeding America, a network of local food banks across the U.S., to make it easy for your girls to amplify their efforts.

Registered Girl Scouts can earn the Building Better Communities patch.

Girl Scout Gold Award

Girl Scout Gold Award: Creating Lasting Solutions to Today's Challenges

Girl Scouts are the youth leaders their communities need to create solutions to the new and ever-changing obstacles that arise from this global pandemic.

Gold Award Girl Scouts are the dreamers and the doers who take “make the world a better place” to the next level. To earn the Gold Award, high school Girl Scouts research the root cause of a community issue they are passionate about, then lead a team to tackle it, by planning and implementing a project that has tangible and lasting impact on their communities and beyond.

The Girl Scout Gold Award is the mark of the truly remarkable—proof that not only she can make a difference, but that she already has.

Get inspired to go Gold by visiting our Gold Award webpage.

Note: Girls, volunteers and families are encouraged to take the time and space they need to adjust to this period of rapid change and uncertainty. When they’re ready, we’re here to support Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts to safely take action in their communities—whether it’s helping ensure kids are still getting the nourishment and enrichment they need out of school, responding to the possible ramifications of isolation during social distancing, adapting an existing project to positively impact local communities today, or something else entirely!

Letter-Writing

Letter-Writing Service Project

The idea is simple: girls write letters to people in nursing homes, senior residences, and assisted living facilities, including the dedicated staff and caregivers. This long-distance hug is a way to share your good thoughts with these vulnerable and loved community members.

Get started with these helpful resources:

Share your story of letter writing with the greater Girl Scouts Movement by posting on social media with #GirlScoutsGiveBack. Don't forget to tag @girlscoutsla (Instagram) and @GSGLA (Facebook) as well as @girlscouts on both platforms.

More Ideas

More ideas:

Giving back to the community is a longstanding Girl Scout tradition, and in current times of crisis that is no different. Here are some great ways to give back while practicing social distancing.

 

  • Build and/or stock some Little Free Pantries
  • Take a trash clean up hike with your family
  • Use sidewalk chalk to spread messages of kindness and hope
  • Go plogging (jogging while picking up trash)
  • Clean out your closet and donate unwanted items
  • Make upcycled pet toys for an animal shelter
  • Make a bee hotel
  • Create care packages for the homeless
  • Create and donate craft kits to a children's hospital
  • Build a Little Free Library
  • Do yardwork for a neighbor in need
  • Plant a tree
  •  

     


    Just for Fun Boredom Busters!

    Summer Creative Writing Club

    Senior & Ambassador Summer Creative Writing Club, Wednesdays, 3:00 pm-4:00 pm 

    Curious about fiction writing or want to get back into it and need some inspiration? Join us for a fun, relaxed summer creative writing club and connect with fellow Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors interested in expressing themselves through creative writing. We’ll use some quick writing prompts and games for free writes, and share our stories in a nonacademic, girl-led environment. We will encourage our writing practice and inspire each other with topic discussions and supportive group feedback. Register

    Virtual Senior Book Club

    Virtual Senior/Ambassador Book Club, Fridays 2:00-3:00 pm, (First meeting is June 12! Book club is ongoing through Aug. 28)
    Have a passion for reading, art, and being creative? Then we have the book club for you! Join us weekly for interactive conversations – and share what is keeping you motivated and inspired during this time. Reading patch available for everyone who participates in all the sessions. Register

    Yarn Crafts

    Yarn Crafts - When you see all the colors and textures of fabrics and yarns, do you dream up a million things to do with them? Get ready to turn those visions into reality as you learn how to finger knit/weave and crochet with a hook.

    Note: Participation in the activity presented in this video can count toward earning the Senior Textile Artist badge if you're a registered Girl Scout.