Girl Scouts STEM

A local Brentwood Daisy troop has donated materials to the Brentwood Library for STEM education.

Photo courtesy of Keshila Shannon.

A Brentwood Girl Scouts Daisy troop of 13 first-graders has donated more than $300 worth of materials to the Brentwood Library to encourage STEM education.

The troop, led by Keshila Shannon, earned the funds by selling cookies, candy and nuts during the 2018-19 school year. After the girls learned some of the basics of science, robotics and programming at their respective schools, Shannon said they wanted to continue learning.

“They were exposed to programming concepts in school and, seeing their interest, we decided to supplement it,” Shannon said.

Shannon’s troop earned programming merit badges this year and also worked on a “Think Like a Programmer” project. One of the project’s key components involved taking action and sharing what they learn with others.

The troop used their funds to purchase materials like snap circuits and magna-tiles kits, which show science in action and allow kids to experience programming, electricity and machinery firsthand. To share their knowledge with the rest of the community and allow other kids to learn, too, they turned to the Brentwood Library.

Shannon and her troop met with senior community library manager Liz Fuller and youth services librarian Lindsay DuPont to put their plan into action. The partnership seemed fortuitous, Shannon said.

“Our staff had been talking about incorporating more STEM programming into our regular slate of programs, and were about to approach our friends and foundation with some ideas,” Fuller said. “At the same time, Keshila approached us with her offer of supplying the library with STEM-related items that the Daisies would purchase. We really liked the idea that these kits would come from the community, and that they could be shared with all of our library users.”

Shannon’s troop presented the kits to the Brentwood Library on May 15, and are now displayed in the library’s community room. Fuller said the library plans to use them for future STEM programming, like their Kids Create series, which will take place every third Monday at 6:30 p.m., beginning July 15.

“We were very pleased that they thought of us for their programming badge, and that they were thoughtful enough to ask what the library could use to benefit the public,” Fuller said. “We appreciate it and will continue to provide programs that meet the needs of everyone in the community.”