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Posted by Diane Hammonds
On Saturday, September 24th, over 1,000 Girl Scouts took to the campus of Southeastern Louisiana University to participate in the Girl Scout’s B.I.G. (“Believe In Girls”) event. The girls, aged 5-17 and from over 23 different parishes, came together to kick off another year of scouting by visiting over 40 different displays and demonstrations on the multitude of opportunities that exist for girls to explore. Some of the displays were designed to suggest a potential career track for the girls to consider.
I attended the event to represent Sain Associates and WTS (“Women’s Transportation Seminar”), a group “dedicated to building the future of transportation through the global advancement of women.” At the event, we set up a booth that outlined the importance of the transportation industry to engineering and the contribution women make to the field. There were three stations: at one, the girls were able to interact with a seatbelt demonstration that showed them the importance of always wearing a seatbelt and being in the correct car safety seat. The second demonstrated the effect of weight on bridges and featured an asphalt and concrete core for the girls to hold. The third activity featured Traffic Bowl equipment provided by Deep South ITE that uses a buzzer system to light a traffic signal and start a pedestrian countdown signal. The girls got to activate the signal and pedestrian countdown and tell us what each color indicated on the traffic signal. If they answered correctly, they got candy!
Marianne Addy, Vice President of Communications and marketing for Girl Scouts Louisiana East, sponsor of the event, said “The emphasis [of The B.I.G. Event] was to expose girls to science, technology, engineering, math, healthy and safe living, a love of the outdoors and leadership development.” Addy said this year’s B.I.G. Event attracted more participants than in previous years. She said the success of the day shows that young women are still interested in Girl Scouts and membership is growing in the area.
It is my hope that we were able to inspire these young girls to pursue a career in transportation and engineering!
Note from the Editor: Diane was recently selected as a recipient of the 2016 WTS Louisiana President’s Award! The award will be presented at the upcoming Annual Awards Banquet to be held on Thursday, October 20, 2016 at the Country Club of Louisiana.