STREAM Girls 2015- a success!

The second annual STREAM Girls event was held on June 19th and 20th, in Wisconsin's Jordan Park, along the Plover River. It is a collaborative event between Trout Unlimited and the Girl Scouts of America, and we were very excited to get our girls involved and learning about water once again!

STREAM is an acronym that is based on the STEM education emphasis: S for science, T for technology, R for recreation, E for engineering, A for arts, and M for math.

The STREAM Girls curriculum covers many topics: everything from the science behind water flow, streamside vegetation, fish habitat and water quality to fly tying and casting.

Entomology is always a BIG HIT!

Fly tying is exciting for the girls- it's the arts and crafts of the fly fishing world, and these girls were excited to follow the "recipe" and come up with their own variations! The local chapter, Frank Hornberg, donated fly boxes full of flies they'd tied, so the girls had a place to store the flies they tied, and they took home the start of a new collection!

TU national staff and volunteers designed and provided specialized handbooks to the scouts, outlining their activities for the program. 

We spent some time teaching fly casting in the grass, then walked across the street to teach the girls the difference between casting on grass and casting in the water. Their excitement was contagious!

The program is about 75% science-based and 25% angling, and it includes an at-home checklist to share with their families, evaluating their familial impact on their watershed.

We had Junior Girl Scouts for the full day of learning on Friday, and Brownies joined us on Saturday morning. The older girls took the younger girls on a streamwalk, stopping at volunteer-manned stations, sharing what they've learned about the stream, and answering questions along the way. Each stop earned them a charm or bead for a bracelet that they assembled at the end of the stream walk. The Portage County Parks staff even surprised us by bringing over a live barred owl, and we had a short question-and-answer session about the owl's role in the forest. It was raining on us for the majority of Saturday, but we wrapped those girls in ponchos and we braved the rain for a little shore fishing on Jordan Pond.

We had 18 graduates of the STREAM Girls program, each earning a patch for the back of their vest or sash, a certificate of completion, and a water bottle with the STREAM Girls logo.

As the girls packed up their gear, excitedly showing their parents their new patch, I found peace in my heart knowing we'd helped to create a new generation of educated observers and nature lovers.

TU volunteers came from all corners of Wisconsin to share their passion and knowledge about water, and I'm incredibly thankful for the kindness and generosity of everyone who contributed. 

Thank you, everyone!

Heidi Oberstadt

Comments

 
said on Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

So great to see this!  Great read and great pictures.  Thanks for posting! 

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