Full STEM ahead: North Longford Ladybirds among first to complete new STEM badge

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Full STEM ahead:	North Longford Ladybirds among first to complete new STEM badge

North Longford Ladybirds Aoife Gray (6) and Isla Brady (6).

North Longford Ladybirds are among the first members of Irish Girl Guides (IGG) to complete the organisation’s brand new STEM badge, which was launched during Science Week.

The badge aims to encourage Ladybirds (IGG members aged five to seven) to develop an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

To earn the badge, the girls have to complete a series of science experiments and engineering projects, like building towers, making telephones using string and using magnets.

By taking part in these fun activities, the girls learn about balance, stability and planning, how sound travels and magnetism among other skills.

It is hoped that doing this will spark an interest in STEM subjects that they will pursue inside and outside of school.

Orla Morris, a leader with North Longford Ladybirds, which meets in Drumlish said the badge's importance could not be underestimated.

“The STEM badge is a unique opportunity to cover a wide range of topics in a fun, creative and informative way. Doing the STEM activities is a great excuse for girls to get messy with slime or oobleck, investigate with magnets and slopes, experiment with water and food colouring, play with numbers and stack or build with anything.

“There was great excitement in the air as they set about the tasks, fascination as girls made water ‘walk’ from one cup into another and infectious laughter as they watched an egg being sucked into a jar.

“They made cans roll using static electricity, built towers and learned how cups can support their weight. This is the most fun badge we have ever worked on because the girls were so enthusiastic and the possibilities were endless.”

IGG Programme and Training Commissioner Jenny Gannon said: “We are delighted to launch our new STEM badge for Ladybirds during Science Week. It complements the Science Investigator and Engineering badges we already have for Brownies (aged seven to 10) and Guides (aged 10-14).