Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois’ Botball team from O’Fallon placed 2nd overall at last Saturday’s Greater St. Louis Regional Botball Tournament held at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. In addition, two other GSSI teams – one from Troy placed 8th overall and one from Germantown placed 12th overall. The Girl Scout Germantown team also took home the Spirit in the Face of Diversity Award.   Thirty-six middle school and high school teams from Illinois, Missouri, Indiana and Arkansas participated in the Botball tournament.  Botball is a robotics program sponsored by the KISS Insitute for Practical Robotics where youth are challenged to build and program  two robots using C to perform autonomously and solve missions.  O’Fallon’s Girl Scout team is coached by Michelle Sparks and Kristi Smith; Troy’s Girl Scout team is coached by Sara Tipton and Germantown’s Girl Scout team is coached by Debra Beckaman. 

     “Our three Girl Scout teams performed outstandingly during the St. Louis Regional Botball Tournament,” said Emily Stanley, GSSI STEM Program Manager.  “The competition was challenging and our Girl Scout teams held their own against many high school teams from Illinois, Missouri, Indiana and Arkansas.  Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois is committed to providing girls Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) opportunities and experiences that will help them not only hone their STEM skills, but explore possible careers in these fields,” Stanley added.

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     Girl Scouts is the leading authority on girls’ growth and development.  Girl Scouts has a long history of encouraging girls to participate in STEM and the first STEM badges – the electrician badge and the flyer badge – were introduced in 1913.  GSSI’s goal is to build and reinforce girls’ interest in STEM, to support their continued involvement as they reach critical decision-making points and to achieve parity with boys in these fields. 

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    Anyone interested in being a part of GSSI’s STEM program or would like to volunteer to help today’s girls explore the world of science, technology, engineering and math, can call Stanley at 618.692.0692 or e-mail at

    The Girl Scout Mission is: Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.  Today’s Girl Scouts not only enjoy camping and crafts, but they also explore math and science and learn about diversity, good citizenship, leadership and teamwork.  Girl Scouting is the place where girls experience the fun, friendship and power of girls working together.

     Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois serves 14,000 girls and 4,800 adult volunteers in more than 40 counties in southern Illinois.  Girl Scouting has inspired more than 50 million girls and women since its founding in 1912.  Girl Scouting is focused on providing a premier Girl Scout Leadership Experience for girls in the 21st century, while ensuring the traditions and values that have been core to Girl Scouting since its beginning remain strong and relevant.  Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois is a not-for-profit organization supported by various United Ways throughout the region.  Girl Scouts is a Proud Partner of United Way.

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