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STEM Week Day 2: Girl Scouts visit the James and Sylvia Earl Simulation to Advance Innovation and Learning Center at AAMC

October 22, 2013


As we talked about in “Ladies in Leadership Conference: Troop 4149′s Bronze Award Project” a group of Girl Scouts from the Annapolis area had the exciting opportunity to participate in a conference where they heard from many of Anne Arundel Medical Center’s leading ladies. At the conference they also had the chance to visit the the James and Sylvia Earl Simulation to Advance Innovation and Learning Center (SAIL).


During their visit, girls were able to see and touch the life-like models that are used by medical amateurs and experts to enhance their learning experience. The models react like humans when responding to virtual tests and treatments. They have simulated hearts, pulse, blood pressure, pupils that dilate, the ability to bleed and react to medications, and they can even respond verbally with the help of a sound technician.

As seen in the the photo below, the girls also were able to learn about and try tools used by surgeons to practice minimally invasive, laparoscopic and robotic skills development before performing new surgical approaches and procedures.

Surgery Simulation

According to the AAMC website, the SAIL Center is a world-class medical simulation and training facility that promotes the provision of safe care for patients through advanced training that is ahead of the rest of the country and usually available only in major academic medical centers. About 80 percent of all U.S. health care is delivered in non-academic, private centers. The Earl SAIL Center is critical to achieving and maintaining national patient safety goals as new medical technologies continue to emerge at an ever increasing pace.

As part of its mission and infrastructure, The Earl SAIL Center is designed to foster the creation, co-development and evaluation of intellectual property in a more cost effective, efficient and incentivized fashion than academic medical centers. The Earl SAIL Center provides an environment dedicated to conducting world-class clinical research, training the next generations of healthcare providers, and facilitating efforts that will ensure excellence in the medical practices of the future.

Typically the Center hosts teleconferences, monthly national multi-center teleconferences, lectures, research, and large group sessions for resident surgical education, all of which help to develop staff skills and knowledge. The Earl SAIL Center also provides tours and educational opportunities for area school children, the community, patients, families and organizations dedicated to healthcare improvement and patient safety.

At the conclusion of the tour, the staff of AAMC encouraged girls to get their parents and troop leaders to schedule another visit for them so that they could learn more about simulations and get a more hands on experience. Have a girl or troop that is interested in healthcare or technology? Contact AAMC at 443-481-1000 to set up a tour!

STEM Week Day 1: Invent it. Build it. is coming!

October 21, 2013

PrintDuring our last GSCM blog STEM week we talked about one organization that was working to get girls in middle school interested in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) with an exciting event. This event, Invent it. Build it. which is hosted by The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) is right around the corner and is happening in Baltimore!

“The event started as a partnership between the ExxonMobil Foundation, SWE and The Girl Scouts of the USA.  We all put our heads together and decided that this event would be an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the girls.  Since year one, we have expanded the event to include a Parent and Educator Program (PEP) as well as an EXPO that is open to the public as well as the participants,” said Randy Freedman, Outreach Manager for SWE.

According to Freedman, the event started with the idea “that having middle school girls do hands on engineering activities with female role models would have a significant impact on attitudes about engineering.” This hypothesis has proved true and Invent it. Build it. is now an annual event that takes place at the Society of Women Engineers Conference.

“Hosting this event at the Society of Women Engineers annual conference allows us to introduce these girls to engineers from around the world.  It’s a unique time and an amazing opportunity for these kids.  Over the last three years we have found a 30% increase in the number of girls interested in engineering as a career post event,” said Freedman.

Event Details:


Girls will work with SWE members from around the world on hands-on engineering activities, meet real engineers and learn what they do, make new friends, and explore the Invent It. Build It. EXPO during exclusive hours. Girls will also get an Invent It. Build It. t-shirt, bag and lots of other goodies and will be eligible to win raffle prizes and have lunch provided with the SWE engineers. Everyone will leave with an understanding of what engineers do and how they make a world of difference.

The adults will have a chance to network, participate in a panel discussion with SWE members, and outreach experts, and do a hands-on activity of their own.

In addition to the main event for girls in grades 6-8, Invent It. Build It. offers two parallel programs: Parent/Educator Program (PEP and the Invent It. Build It. EXPO.

PEP: Parents and educators will learn about engineering careers, scholarships, college admission and resources, network with SWE members as well as other parents and educators, participate in a panel discussion with select SWE members and outreach experts, complete a hands-on activity and learn best practices for doing engineering with girls and explore the Invent It. Build It. EXPO during exclusive hours. They will also get the opportunity to have lunch (provided) with the SWE engineers and will receive an Invent It. Build It. t-shirt

PLEASE NOTE: The parent/ educator program is separate from the main event for girls in grades 6-8.  Parents/educators will only be permitted to work with the students during Exclusive EXPO hours, at other designated times or if a child has special needs.

EXPO: Learn about engineering clubs, camps, after-school programs, competitions from a wide variety of exhibitors. The Invent It. Build It. Expo has two tracks:

  • Track 1: Exclusive EXPO Hours (9am – 10:30am) open only to those with a GIRLS IN GRADES 6-8 Ticket or a PEP Ticket. PLEASE NOTE: If you have one of these tickets you DO NOT need a GENERAL PUBLIC Ticket.
  • Track 2: General Public EXPO Hours (11am – 3pm) open to girls, boys and adults of all ages.  You must have a GENERAL PUBLIC Ticket to attend.

Registration for girls (grades 6-8), PEP and the general public attending the EXPO is required due to limited space.

Tickets for girls (grades 6-8) are $7 each (non-refundable).  PEP participants and the general public may attend at no cost.

Lunch, an Invent It. Build It. t-shirt, prizes and other goodies are included for paid girls (grades 6-8),  and PEP participants only.



Invent it Build it 2 from David James Group on Vimeo.

Ladies in Leadership Conference: Troop 4149′s Bronze Award Project

October 17, 2013


On the evening of October 14th at the Anne Arundel Medical Center (AAMC), Troop 4149 brought area girls together with women in leadership positions from AAMC. The night included a panel discussion, a tour of AAMC’s SAIL Center, and small group discussions. Below you will find a rundown of the advice and pointers given during the panel discussion portion of the night.

Each speaker was introduced by a member of troop 4149 and spoke about a different aspect of leadership. Panelists for the evening were:

  • Victoria Bayless, President and Chief Executive Officer of Anne Arundel Health System (AAHS)
  • Sherry Perkins, Chief Operating Officer & Chief Nursing officer at AAMC
  • Barbara Baldwin, Chief Information Officer for AAHS
  • Jan Wood, President of AAMC Foundation and Chief Development Officer
  • Shirely Knelly, Vice President for Quality and Patient Safety, Corporate Compliance Officer and President of Pathways
  • Briana Walton, Director of Female PelvicMedicine and Reconstructive Surgery

Ms. Bayless was the first speaker for the night. She was asked to talk about how she got to her position of leadership within AAMC, and what advice she had for girls who were interested in attaining leadership roles in their future careers. Ms. Bayless told the group that she first started volunteering at the age of 13 and was always looking for new opportunities. Her advice was to listen carefully, ask questions, volunteer, and look for role models in order to become an effective leader. She also shared her favorite quotation from Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back: “Do or do not. There is no try.” She explained that to her, this meant that it is not your words but your actions that define who you are and how you lead.

The next speaker of the night, Girl Scout Alumna, Sherry Perkins began in true Girl Scout fashion, with a song. She then went on to discuss the importance of role models, asking questions and decision making. “What ever career you end up in, you will be making decisions,” Perkins said. She also noted the importance of teamwork in making decisions.

Following Ms. Perkins, another Girl Scout Alumna took to the podium. Barbara Baldwin, Chief Information Officer for AAHS, spoke to the importance of curiosity, energy and focus as traits and characteristics needed in becoming a leader. She noted the importance of her time as a Girl Scout and assured the girls that what they are doing in their lives now is important to who they will become. She ended with a quotation to reinforce the value of education, volunteerism, and being focused, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.” – Alice in Wonderland

Next up was Jan Wood. She elaborated on the importance of volunteerism and collaboration in developing leadership abilities. “To whom much is given, much is expected,” she said. Ms. Wood also stressed that “managing is not leading.” This means that being a leader is more about inspiring others and creating a feeling of inclusion, than it is about getting things done yourself. Leaders have a vision and they inspire others to make the vision a reality, “leaders make things happen.” She ended on an optimistic note, assuring the girls that she is “very excited to see the things [they] are able to bring to the world.”

After Ms. Wood spoke, Shirley Knelly, former teacher, spoke to the girls about tests. “Who here loves tests?” she asked a very puzzled crowd. “As a leader, you will learn to love tests.” Ms. Knelly stressed that when you are a leader, or are in charge of something, there will be tests that measure and challenge your abilities. She also spoke to the importance of having followers: “You can’t be a leader unless you have followers,” she said, and then went on to explain how to get followers. Her suggestions on how to do this included: ask questions, seek advice, share information, and take advantage of learning opportunities, all of which will lead you to build confidence and show others that you can lead them towards their goals.

Tha last panelist of the night was Briana Walton. She began by asking the crowd what grade they thought she was in. After a few numbers were shouted out she said “I’m in 27th grade, and I’m not done learning.” She then continued to speak on the idea that your education is never over and that in order to truly know yourself and your interests and capabilities you must continue to learn. Ms. Walton told us that one key aspect of being successful in life and as a leader is to know what inspires you. Once you know that it is easier to encourage and inspire others to reach a goal.

Following the discussion, the panelists answered questions from the girls in attendance about volunteerism, how to over come shyness and who to talk to about career options.

Way to go troop 4149! What an awesome way to earn your Bronze Award! Check back next week during “STEM Week on the GSCM Blog” to see what the girls found when they went into the SAIL Center at AAMC!


On Time: What the cookie sale does for girls

October 17, 2013
Screen shot 2013-10-17 at 10.31.48 AM

click image to view video

Watch this clip of Judy McGovern, President of RealStreet Staffing and Monica Mitchell, Vice President & Senior Relationship Manager at Wells Fargo as they discuss the importance of financial literacy for girls and how the cookie sale helps them to gain the skills necessary to make sound financial decisions.

Click here to view video!

Girl Scout Blog: Girl Scouts CEO Anna Maria Chávez Honors Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan

October 11, 2013

Click to view on Girl Scout Blog: Girl Scouts CEO Anna Maria Chávez Honors Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan.

Girl Scouts of the USA congratulates sixteen year-old Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan, who survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban after daring to speak out for the education of girls, for being the first girl to ever be in the running for the Nobel Peace Prize,” said Anna Maria Chávez, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA. “We recognize Malala as an Honorary Girl Scout, as she has made the world a better place through her remarkable courage, confidence, and character. Today not only marks an historic milestone for girls in the world, it is also<i>International Day of the Girl</i>, and regardless of the ultimate decision of the Nobel Committee, Malala has changed lives and opened eyes across the globe.”

On October 9, 2012, Yousafzai was shot in the head and neck in an assassination attempt by Taliban gunmen while returning home on a school bus. In the days immediately following the attack, she remained unconscious and in critical condition, but later her condition improved enough for her to be sent to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England for intensive rehabilitation.

In the April 2013 issue of Time magazine, Yousafzai was featured on the magazine’s front cover and as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in the World”. She was the winner of Pakistan’s first National Youth Peace Prize and was nominated for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize. On 12 July 2013, Yousafzai spoke at the UN to call for worldwide access to education, and in September 2013 she officially opened the Library of Birmingham. Yousafzai is the recipient of the Sakharov Prize for 2013.

Why a Day for Girls?

October 11, 2013


“Why a day just for girls? Because girls can save the world. And we deserve a bigger part of it.” –

October 11, 2012, was the first Day of the Girl. The observation supports more opportunity for girls, and increases awareness of inequality faced by girls worldwide. This inequality includes areas such as access to education, nutrition, legal rights, medical care, and protection from discrimination and violence.

The International Day of the Girl initiative began as a project of Plan International. The idea for an international day of observance and celebration grew out of Plan International’s Because I Am a Girl campaign, which raises awareness of the importance of nurturing girls globally and in developing countries in particular.

International Day of the Girl was formally proposed as a resolution by Canada to the United Nations General Assembly. On December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly voted to pass the resolution, proclaiming October 11, 2012 as the inaugural International Day of the Girl. According to Wikipedia, the resolution states that the Day of the Girl recognizes:

empowerment of and investment in girls, which are critical for economic growth, the achievement of all Millennium Development Goals, including the eradication of poverty and extreme poverty, as well as the meaningful participation of girls in decisions that affect them, are key in breaking the cycle of discrimination and violence and in promoting and protecting the full and effective enjoyment of their human rights, and recognizing also that empowering girls requires their active participation in decision-making processes and the active support and engagement of their parents, legal guardians, families and care providers, as well as boys and men and the wider community…

As girls, we experience inequality in every aspect of our lives. There are a billion reasons why we need the Day of the Girl, but let’s start with just a few (found on, all are linked to their source)

By 2015, females will make up 64% of the world’s illiterate (adult) population.  (PDF)

Only 30% of girls in the world are enrolled in secondary school. (PDF)

Girls make up half of the high school population, but receive only 41% of all athletic participation opportunities.

Women only hold 15.7% of top leadership positions in Fortune 500 companies.

54% of 3rd-5th grade girls worry about their appearance and 37% worry about their weight.

57% of music videos feature a female portrayed exclusively as a decorative, sexual object.

Females continue to be underrepresented in top roles in film with less than 1 in 3 speaking characters in children’s movies.

Why is International Day of the girl Important to you? Are you and your friends/troop doing anything to celebrate? Let us know in the comments!

Malala Yousafzai: Raising her voice for girls everywhere

October 9, 2013

One year ago today, a 15 year old girl in Pakistan was shot in the head by the Taliban for trying to go to school. This terrible event, which would silence most of us, has given, now 16 year old, Malala Yousafzai the loudest voice of all in the fight for women’s rights and for the right to education. With the International Day of the Girl approaching, it is only fitting that we take the time to appreciate Malala and all that she is working for. After being attacked Malala has not stopped her fight to bring awareness to the world about the importance of education for all women and children.

Through out the past year Malala has made great strides towards achieving her goals. Let’s take a look at her journey as told by the Wall Street Journal Blog.

On Oct. 9, 2012, Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman as she returned from school. She had been campaigning for girls education in Pakistan’s Swat valley.

Pictured, Ms. Yousafzai in Birmingham, England, September 2013.

Getty Images

Ms. Yousafzai, who was 15 at the time of the assassination attempt, was flown to the U.K. for treatment at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. In March, after being discharged from the hospital, Ms. Yousafzai began attending Edgbaston High School.

Pictured, Ms. Yousafzai read a book as she recovered from surgery.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital/Associated Press

Ms. Yousafzai began writing a blog for BBC Urdu under the pseudonym Gul Makai when she was 11. She wrote about life under the Taliban in Swat, in northwestern Pakistan, where several schools were closed.

Pictured, Ms. Yousafzai leaving hospital in January.

Getty Images

One entry in her online diary was titled “I May Not Go To School Again.” In it, she said she was unsure her school would reopen after the winter vacation. “This time round, the girls were not too excited about vacations because they knew if the Taliban implemented their edict, they would not be able to come to school again,” she wrote. A few public speeches and television interviews later, in December 2009, her father revealed that Ms. Yousafzai was the BBC blogger.

In April 2013, Ms. Yousafzai appeared in Time magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

European Pressphoto Agency

Ms. Yousafzai signed a book deal this year. “I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban,” co-written by British journalist Christina Lamb, was released on Oct. 8. A 14-year-old girl, Shazia Ramzan, was also injured in the attack by the Taliban last October. In an interview with India Real Time, Ms. Ramzan said it was unsafe for Ms. Yousafzai to return to the valley. “But I don’t think she will forget us,” she added.

Pictured, Ms. Yousafzai, left, sat with Ms. Ramzan, at Birmingham Airport in June.

European Pressphoto Agency

On July 12, her 16th birthday, Ms. Yousafzai delivered a speech at the United Nations Youth Assembly. She spoke of the need for education for all children. “Let us pick up our books and pens. They are our most powerful weapons,” she said. The U.N. named July 12 “Malala Day.”

Pictured, a woman held a brochure at the U.N. headquarters on July 12.

Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Ms. Yousafzai is the youngest Nobel Peace Prize nominee in history. The average age of a peace prize laureate is 62. Ms. Yousafzai is one of 259 nominees, including 50 organizations, this year. The winner will be announced on Friday, Oct. 11.

Pictured, Ms. Yousafzai signed U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s guestbook at the U.N. headquarters in New York.

Associated Press

In September, Ms. Yousafzai opened the Library of Birmingham, one of the biggest public libraries in the world.

Pictured, Ms. Yousafzai during the opening ceremony.

Getty Images

Two weeks later, Ms. Yousafzai received Amnesty International’s highest award. The Ambassador of Conscience Award was presented to her by U2 frontman Bono.

Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Ms. Yousafzai won the International Children’s Peace Prize in September. “I was just one target of their violence. There are many others for whom we must continue,” Ms. Yousafzai said in her acceptance speech.

Pictured, the teenager received her award at a ceremony in the Netherlands.

Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Last night, on the eve of the anniversary of her attack,  Malala appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

“Describing itself as a fake news program, The Daily Show draws its comedy and satire from recent news stories, political figures, media organizations…The final segment is devoted to a celebrity interview, with guests ranging from actors and musicians to nonfiction authors and political figures.”

It was during this last segment that Malala appeared. Host Jon Stewart, who is usually quick to make jokes towards his guests could only marvel at the courage, confidence and character of Malala. Throughout the segment, Stewart was noticeably in awe, saying at one point, “Nothing feels better than making you laugh.”

It is almost impossible not to be completely awe-struck and inspired when listening to Malala speak. When asked about the state of Swat and how she decided to be the voice of the women and children Malala responded:

“Why should I wait for someone else,” said Malala when explaining why she put herself at risk. “Why should I wait for the government, the army that they would help us? Why don’t I raise my voice?… And I said, ‘I need to tell the world what is happening. I need to tell the world that Swat is fighting against terrorism.”

Stewart was particularly astonished with Malala’s response when she described how she would react if the Taliban were to come after her. Watch her response in the video below.

Watch the full interview here:

Malala Yousafzai on The Daily Show: Part 1

Malala Yousafzai on The Daily Show: Part 2

Malala Yousafzai on The Daily Show: Part 3


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