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Girl Scouts of North East Ohio announces partnership through Space Grant KIDS, funded by NASA

Girl Scouts of North East Ohio (GSNEO) is excited to announce their partnership with Ohio Aerospace Institute (OAI) along with the Ohio, New York, and Nebraska Space Grant Consortia, Akron Zoo, Ithaca Sciencenter, Nebraska Department of Education, and Nebraska 21st Century sites on the “Stepping Stars” project. This proposal was selected to receive funding from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as part of the $4 Million Space Grant KIDS (K-12 Inclusiveness and Diversity in STEM) opportunity, announced early September. 

This announcement comes in conjunction with the second National Space Council meeting, held Friday, September 9. “This partnership and Stepping Stars program provides students with the tools and skillset to explore more of what STEM has to offer,” said Jane Christyson, Chief Executive Officer of GSNEO. “We’re very grateful for this partnership and excited to provide this opportunity to explore biomimicry and NASA research.”

Stepping Stars will introduce middle and high school Girl Scouts to the concept of biomimicry, an approach to innovation that takes inspiration from nature’s successes and applies it to engineering and problem solving. Through a combination of curriculum, hands-on activities, and volunteer training, Girl Scouts will learn about how biomimicry aligns with NASA’s mission directorates in aeronautics research, science mission, and space technology.

GSNEO plans to develop five, one-day programs and a week-long summer camp connecting Girl Scout badges to some of the actual questions motivating NASA scientists. For example, Girl Scout Cadettes earning their Tree badge will be challenged to answer, “What is the most efficient way to transport water on Mars?” Drawing inspiration from the internal structure of trees, and current research by NASA, Girl Scouts will approach the problem using design thinking.

This isn’t the first funding GSNEO has received from NASA.  In December 2021, GSNEO received a NASA Teams Engaging Affiliated Museums and Informal Institutions (TEAM II) Community Anchor Award for the Roaming the Red Planet: Connecting Girl Scouts to NASA project. 

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