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STEM Challenge

Are you ready for Girl Scouts of Western Ohio's first ever STEM Challenge, powered by Honda? Join us virtually on Saturday, January 23 as we explore the wonderful world of science, technology, engineering, & math (STEM) through interviews with women in STEM careers, fun experiments to challenge your innovation and problem solving skills, and more!

Girls must complete a minimum of four (4) challenges and review four (4) STEM career interviews to earn the 2021 STEM Challenge patch. Once you've finished the GSWO STEM Challenge, request your patch online!


Thanks to generous support from the Honda Foundation, the first 150 girls to complete the STEM Challenge will receive their patch at no cost!


Complete at least 4 of the following to be eligible for the patch.

Make Your Own Bath Bombs

in partnership with Boonshoft Museum of Discovery

In this activity, we will be learning about chemical reactions by creating our very own bath bomb. When we place a bath bomb in water one of the key observations we can make is the sudden fizzing that occurs, but do you know what ingredients we used are causing this fizzing reaction?

Download the Directions

Supplies needed:

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup citric acid
  • 2 TLBSP epsom salt
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1 1/4 TLBSP baby oil or water
  • 1/4 TLBSP water
  • Up to 1 tsp fragrances oil
  • Measuring cups & spoons
  • Mixing bowl
  • Mixing spoon
  • Small cup
  • Molds (a muffin tin is a great oven safe option)
Rock on as You Explore Geology

in partnership with Boonshoft Museum of Discovery

In this activity perfect for younger Girl Scouts, we will be learning all about rocks from Boonshoft's Curator of Anthropology and Exhibitions.

Supplies needed:

  • 3 different colors of Play-Doh or clay
Create a Neutrally Buoyant Object

in partnership with COSI

Can you make an object that will remain neutrally buoyant in water for 10 seconds? Gather some supplies from around the house and try it out!

Supplies needed:

  • Large container filled with water
  • Easter egg/film canister/cork
  • Paper clips
  • Pom poms
  • Dried beans
  • Rubber band
  • Timer
Build a Vermicompost

in partnership with Lucas Soil & Water Conservation District

Learn all about vermicomposting, worm composting, with Jamie Kochensparger, the Lucas SWCD Education/Outreach Director! A great activity to prepare for spring gardening. 

Supplies needed:

  • Plastic container
  • Drill (ask an adult for permission and help!)
  • Shredded paper
  • Food scraps
  • Water
  • Worms
Make Candy Soil

in partnership with Lucas Soil & Water Conservation District

Learn about soil through this fun, interactive activity!

Supplies needed:

  • Butterscotch hard candies
  • Sugar in the raw
  • Gummy worms
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Raisins
  • Red sprinkles
  • Mini pretzel sticks
  • Speckled jelly beans
  • Green fruit roll up
  • Oreo cookie crumbs
  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Blue sprinkles
Build a Lake in a Bag

in partnership with Lucas Soil & Water Conservation District

Learn why Lake Erie and other bodies of water turn "green" in the summer time by adding ingredients to the Ziploc baggie and then mixing it up. Find out ways you can help keep our water clean.

Check out the Lucas Soil & Water Conservation District website for Education Programs brochure and the DIY Jr. Conservationist program!

Supplies needed:

  • 1 Ziploc bag
  • Clear hair gel
  • Small seed beads or other small similar items (could be paper scraps)
  • Green glitter (or small green paper scraps, etc.)
  • Brown pony beads or similar items
  • Blue food coloring
  • Yellow food coloring
Build a Balloon-Powered Model Car

in partnership with GE Aviation

Boost your mechanical engineering skills as you build your own balloon powered car using this video! GE Aviation Engineers will guide you step by step through the activities. Juniors can fulfill their Junior Mechanical Engineering Balloon Car badge requirements by completing this activity. A great activity for girls Junior and up!

Supplies needed:

  • Balloon
  • 3 straws
  • 2 dowels or barbecue skewers
  • String
  • Tape
  • Body of the car (plastic bottle/carton/paper towel tube)
  • Round objects for wheels (life savers, plastic wheels)
Construct a Model Crane

in partnership with GE Aviation

Follow the engineering design cycle as you build your very own model crane. GE Aviation Engineers and Girl Scouts will guide you step by step through the activity. Juniors can fulfill their Junior Mechanical Engineering Model Crane badge requirements by completing this activity. A great activity for girls Junior and up!

Download helpful handouts

Supplies needed:

  • #33 box
  • 3 feet of string
  • 3 oz cup
  • 3 large straws
  • 1 regular straw
  • Index card
  • Tape
  • Marble
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Notepaper
The Great Egg Drop Challenge

in partnership with GE Aviation

Ever wonder what happens when two objects collide? Welcome to the Great Egg Drop Challenge! Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to design a protection system to get a raw egg safely to the ground from a free fall of 7 feet high onto a flat, hard surface, such as concrete, tile or laminate.

A few rules:

  • Bag your egg: it makes clean-up a snap, and you still get all the data.
  • Drop your egg onto a hard, flat surface‚Äďconcrete, hardwood floor, tile, laminate, etc‚Ķ NOT carpet or grass.
  • Try to drop your egg from 7 feet high‚Ķ you may need help from an adult for this. Or you can toss it up in the air so that it reaches at least 7 feet high before falling to the ground. Damage is related to mass and velocity. Velocity (speed) is related to drop height‚Ķ the more height, the more damage.

Supplies needed:

  • ¬†A few fresh or hard-boiled eggs
  • Plastic sandwich bags
  • Some things of your choosing to pack and protect your egg
Create Your Own Algorithm

in partnership with Girl Scouts Diamonds of Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas

Computers can only do things they’re told to do. So, computer scientists use a special language, called code, to tell computers what to do. They write a list of steps in code that a computer then follows. That list of steps is called an algorithm. You can write or follow an algorithm to complete any type of task.  To get started, think of something that you could teach to somebody else in 15 minutes, based on what you're really good at. Maybe you know how to draw a house, make a cootie-catcher, make a smoothie, do a dance move, or shoot a basket.

Download additional directions for this Junior Journey activity

Supplies needed:

  • Paper
  • Markers / Crayons / colored pencils
  • Large poster or chart paper
Take a Solar System Hike

The Sun is the center of our Solar System. Have you ever wondered how big the planets are that revolve around it? Or how far away the planets are from the Sun? Join us for this Solar System Hike and find out how big and far away the planets are on a smaller scale.

Supplies needed:

  • Trail or a large open area to hike
Go on a Stream Quality Creek Stomp

Join Ember as she shows us one way scientists and naturalists can check stream quality, by searching out the different types of creatures you can find in local bodies of water! Then head out on your own to a local creek or stream to do some creature discovering on your own. 

Supplies needed:

  • Stream or creek
Build a Marshmallow Catapult

in partnership with Imagination Station

Try your hand at engineering design as you explore physics with a catapult made out of popsicle sticks.

Supplies needed:

  • Craft sticks
  • Rubber bands
  • Small cups or plastic spoons
  • Tape
  • Marshmallows
  • Measuring tool
Make a Mini Water Cycle

in partnership with Imagination Station

The water cycle is the path water takes from the Earth to the atmosphere and back again. It moves through different stages including evaporation, condensation, precipitation and collection. When water is warmed by the sun it evaporates, meaning it becomes a gas called water vapor. Vapor rises through the air and cools down enough to condense - or turn back into liquid water - in the form of clouds. When enough water condenses in the clouds, it falls back down to Earth’s surface through precipitation such as rain, snow, sleet and hail. You can make your own water cycle at home!

Supplies needed:

  • Packing tape
  • Ziploc bag
  • Permanent marker
  • 1/2 cup of water
Explore the Biodiversity in Your Own Backyard

in partnership with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources

Biodiversity is all around us. Naturalist Kaitlyn from Lake Hope State Park shares a fun activity that will help you discover the biodiversity in your own backyard. Try this activity in the same location across different seasons of the year for some extra fun!

For more nature and environmental science activity ideas and some awesome "She's a Force of Nature" career interviews, check out OhioDNR's YouTube channel.

Supplies needed:

  • Hula hoop
Make Rock Candy with Chemistry and Engineering

in partnership with the University of Dayton Society of Women Engineers

Ready to make rock candy using chemistry and engineering? We hope you enjoy this fun walkthrough of crystallization and the engineering process behind this sweet treat!

Supplies needed:

  • 6 cups of sugar
  • 2 cups of water
  • Measuring cup
  • Cooking pot
  • Spoon
  • Candy sticks
  • Clothespin or clip
  • Large cup
  • Food coloring
  • Access to a stove (ask an adult for help!)
Explore Human Body Systems

in partnership with CJ STEMM at Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School

Our bodies are amazing! Each of our bodies is made up of trillions of cells, muscles, organs, bones, and systems that work together to keep us healthy and able to do all the things we do - eat, breathe, move, think, and learn.  Explore some of those parts and their functions with CJ Biomedical Science students Helen and Tori.

Supplies needed:

  • Paper
  • Drawing materials
Survive the Winter with the Animal Fat Experiment

in partnership with the Brukner Nature Center

Join us in completing the Animal Fat Experiment, to learn how different outer coverings help wildlife, like the Virginia Opossum, survive winter conditions! 

Supplies needed:

  • 6 oranges
  • 1 meat thermometer
  • Crisco
  • 1 spoon
  • 4 pieces of plastic wrap
  • 2 winter gloves (that can be easily cleaned)
  • Notebook for recording your data

Career Spotlights

Review at least 4 of the following to be eligible for the patch.

Dr. Kristen Lear | Endangered Species Interventions Specialist

Meet Dr. Kristen Lear, Endangered Species Interventions Specialist at Bat Conservation International!

Jan Davis | Former Astronaut

Meet Jan Davis, Former NASA Astronaut!

Savannah Bleeker | Cybersecurity Specialist

Meet Savannah Bleeker, Cybersecurity Specialist at Raytheon!

Erin Schultz | Conservation Education Manager

Meet Erin Schultz, Conservation Education Manager at the Wave Foundation at Newport Aquarium!

Jenny Roe | Education Coordinator

Meet Jenny Roe, Education Coordinator at Imagination Station Toledo!

Lori Ann-Malcolm | Process Safety Engineer Supervisor

Meet Lori-Ann Malcolm, Process Safety Engineer Supervisor at Marathon Petroleum Corporation!

Nazarene Tubman | Associate Director, Project Management

Meet Nazarene Tubman, Associate Director, Project Management at Syneos Health!

Dr. Traci Watkins | Family Physician

Meet Dr. Traci Watkins, Family Physician at ProMedica Physicians Group!

Adrienne Green | Sr. Principal Consulting Strategist

Meet Adrienne Green, Sr. Principal Consulting Strategist at PM Impact (PMI), LLC!

Ambrea Mikolajczyk | Owner of ARK Restoration & Construction

Meet Ambrea Mikolajczyk, Owner of ARK Restoration & Construction, Torrey Hill Apartments, LLC!

Dr. Monica Holiday-Goodman | Associate Dean for Student Affairs, College of Pharmacy

Meet Dr. Monica Holiday-Goodman, Associate Dean for Student Affairs at the College of Pharmacy, The University of Toledo!

Lauren Sommers | Wildlife Educator

Meet Lauren Sommers, Wildlife Educator at the Brukner Nature Center!

Riley Lanfear | Coastal Wetland Water Quality Technician

Meet Riley Lanfear, Coastal Wetland Water Quality Technician at Old Woman Creek at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources

Anna Rusconi | Mechanical Engineer

Meet Anna Rusconi, Account Manager at Melink Corporation with a Mechanical Engineering degree!

Krysta Kincaid | Sales Engineer

Meet Krysta Kincaid, Sales Engineer at Melink Corporation with an Industrial & Systems Engineering degree!

Katherine Moeller | Quality Assurance Engineer

Meet Katherine Moeller, Quality Assurance Engineer at Melink Corporation with an Industrial & Systems Engineering degree!


If youd like to reach out to Katherine with questions, you can contact her by email!

Katelyn Babcock | Small Mammal Zookeeper

Meet Katelyn Babcock, Small Mammal Zookeeper at the Toledo Zoo!

Angel Slaman and Brittney Exarhos | Veterinarian Technicians

Meet Angel Slaman and Brittney Exarhos, Veterinarian Technicians at the Toledo Zoo!

Jennifer Van Horn | Vice President of Construction & Planning

Meet Jennifer Van Horn, Vice President of Construction & Planning at the Toledo Zoo!

Ashley Hochberg | Senior IT Data Governance Manager

Meet Ashley Hochberg, Senior IT Data Governance Manager at Proctor & Gamble!

Women in STEM at AstraZeneca

Meet several women who work in STEM careers at AstraZeneca!

  • Megan Kelly - Microbiology Manager¬†¬†
  • Lori Sippos - Senior Process Facilitator
  • Rebecca Fechter - Senior QA Specialist
  • Angie Squires - Senior PET Engineer



Thank you to Honda for powering the GSWO STEM Challenge!