Brownies take over Science World

UPDATE: We’ve added a few more photos to this post as another one of the leaders sent some in and we just had to share. Enjoy! – Feb 9, 2016.

This weekend more than 400 Brownies and their leaders from all around West Coast Area gathered at Science World in Vancouver for an overnight event of fun, friendship, and science! Our 54th Burnaby Mountain Brownies were thrilled to be part of the excitement.

Highlights of the night included an Omnimax movie about Humpback Whales, an engineering demo and experiment time with KEVA planks, science shows, and exploring all the great exhibits with hundreds of other Brownies. trex

Sleeping among the exhibits is one of the coolest parts of this sleepover. Our Brownies got to sleep in a most exciting spot: next to the hollowed out tree and right next to Mr. T-Rex!

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The KEVA blocks were a really cool way to learn about building and engineering in a hands on way. The science world staff had girls help knock down a giant KEVA tower and girls had plenty of time to build their own creations.

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Towers are great to build with friends — a great tower can be built with great teamwork. Alternatively, some girls decided to get creative and build animals with the KEVA blocks, including some who made meerkats!

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The event wasn’t all about science — girls got in some classic Girl Guide fun, including a huge campfire in the omnimax theatre, made extra exciting with the use of glow sticks. Brownies love singing in big groups like this.

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The science exhibits in the galleries are always a lot of fun. Science World is a great place for hands-on learning. Here are some girls trying their hand at working a flying machine.

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Science shows are always a lot of fun. Demonstrations are a great way to learn new things. And its always fun to hang out with friends in the audience.

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Thank you to all the Guiders who worked hard to plan and execute an event of this size. These girls had a blast. Thank you as well to all of the wonderful Science World staff who made the event possible. Large scale sleepovers like this one with hundreds of Guiding friends are some of the memories that we make that last a lifetime.

District Space Centre Sleepover: Guiding Reaches for the Stars!

Last weekend Burnaby Mountain District took over the HR MacMillan Space Centre for an amazing sleepover! More than 100 participants got to learn all about space including astronauts, the universe, rockets, and more.SC 6

Girls were divided into groups to take part in different activities. One of the stations took place in the observatory where girls got to learn about the giant telescope and how astronomers study space.  SC 2

Everyone got a chance to explore the cosmic courtyard, which featured lots of hands-on activities. Girls got to touch a moon rock, feel different spacecraft materials, design rovers out of lego, and consider the possibility of alien life forms.

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Another station was a presentation by Space Centre staff about what it’s like to be an astronaut. Girls got answers to all kinds of interesting questions: How to astronauts wash their hair? What do they eat? Where do they sleep? How do they go to the bathroom?

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Finally, everyone got to see a show in the planetarium theatre before bed, showing us just how small we really are in the universe. They learned about planets, stars, and galaxies, and got to spot constellations and find out why Pluto is no longer classed as a planet.

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It was a really successful event and everybody had a great time. Space Centre staff were impressed with how well behaved the girls were and how organized the leaders were. They were also impressed that we knew more songs about space than just “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star!”SC 7

In the morning, girls got to launch the bottle rockets that they constructed the night before. Everyone was impressed with how high the rockets actually flew.

SC 1This is another great example of how Guiding includes STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) into programming for girls of all ages. We learned a tonne, and had a great time doing it. A HUGE thank you goes out to the incredible Space Centre staff for leading such an exciting program as well as to all the Guiders who volunteered their time to make the night a success.

Sparks with Critters

Never a group to shy away from an adventure, the 1st Sparks recently had a special guest come to a meeting. And he brought… friends.Frog

Mike, of Mike’s Critters, was a great host for the girls who learned a tremendous amount about different kinds of animals including what they eat, how they protect themselves, why they look the way they do, and lots of other really cool trivia.

Mike brought a rabbit, a hedgehog, a red-eyed tree frog, a parrot, a leopard gecko, a chinchilla, a chameleon, and a mealy corn snake. The girls got to look at all of the animals up close and were able to touch most of them.

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Did you know the Chinchilla is the softest animal in the whole wide world?spark critter 3

Some special volunteers even got to take turns holding some of the animals. The girls were so brave and were even excited to get to hold the snake!spark critter 1

The girls were so excited to have Mike and his critters at their meeting. It was educational, engaging, and totally hands-on. What a great opportunity. This unit and its leaders give Mike a rave review and totally suggest you check out his website and condsider booking him for your upcoming events.

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Guides at the Biodiversity Museum

Recently the girls of the 22nd Burnaby Mountain Guides took a Saturday morning to visit the Beatty Biodiversity Museum at the University of British Columbia. The unit rode transit from Burnaby out to UBC and then enjoyed a hands-on tour of the museum.

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The wonderful museum staff had prepared a session for them focussing on birds. It was very interesting. Girls got to handle actual biodiversity artefacts and and learn about birds in a variety of ways. The Feathered Friends module is described as follows: Are you bonkers for birds? Learn the basics of bird watching by discovering how body shape, colouration, behaviour and sound can be used to find out more about the birds around us.

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The pictures shown are the girls posing with the museum’s impressive 26 meter long blue whale skeleton. Very cool!

It is always exciting to get our girls out in the community — especially onto university campuses! — to learn about things they didn’t know in ways that may not have occured to them. STEM Programing (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) is a wonderfully enriching part of our program and the girls love it!

District Science Day @ SFU

This March, Burnaby Mountain District partnered up with Simon Fraser University’s Let’s Talk Science to put on a fun-filled day of science at SFU campus.Feb 2014 017Volunteers from the various science disciplines lead girls through age-appropriate science activities. Younger girls learned about bacteria and fingerprinting, while older girls did things like extract DNA from fruit.

Feb 2014 008In the afternoon girls participated in a science challenge. Above are some Guides building parachutes to help eggs survive a 2-story drop. Meanwhile, below, Sparks worked on building tall structures using drinking straws.

Feb 2014 012It was fun to expose the girls to science at the university with enthusiastic volunteers. District Science Day was inspired by Girl Guides’ committment to engaging our girls with the STEM disciplines — Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The event was a huge success with a total of 95 girls and 21 Guiders from all twelve units coming out. A HUGE thank you to the people from Let’s Talk Science — we can’t wait to work with you again in the future!