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    Project Manager Helps Teach Girls About Construction Through Cookie Box Creations

    February 27, 2014

    Dallas, TX--Imagine being tasked with encouraging a group of pre-teen girls to think “outside the box” when all you have is boxes—Girl Scout Cookie boxes that is. Project Manager Katie Humphries doesn’t need to imagine. It was, after all, her responsibility as volunteer team leader to help a Northeast Texas Division Girl Scouts’ team conjure and construct their entry for this year’s “Cookie Box Creations” competition.

    “Cookie Box Creations teams girls with women in architecture, engineering, and construction to transform empty Girl Scout Cookie boxes into freestanding structures,” Katie says. “For the last four months, my garage has served as the construction staging area where the girls brought their creative vision to life.”

    Developing an idea based on the “I Can’t Wait To See The World” theme was the easy part. “Several of the girls are avid soccer players and know Rio is a host city for the 2014 FIFA World Cup,” Katie says. “We then discovered the 2016 Summer Olympics will be held there, too. I was impressed by how the girls researched the city and its significant landmarks to arrive at a design. They’ve titled their project ‘When I See The World From Rio.’”

    From there, the team sketched its ideas, determining how many boxes of each cookie were needed. “We had to use a minimum of 600 boxes, up to a maximum of 1,000. The structure could be no larger than 8 feet by 8 feet.”

    Katie believes the project helped the girls hone their planning and estimating skills. From the 987 flat boxes requested, the team had to decide how to weave pieces together to create different elements, such as the ocean and boardwalk. They had to assess which parts and pieces could be built ahead of time as well as how they would construct them to make efficient use of their time the day of the on-site build. Finally, they had to gain a basic understanding about the importance of structural integrity to evaluate how the cookie boxes would support each other.

    “I was thrilled by the girls’ critical problem-solving skills,” Katie offers. “We’d try something one way only to find out it didn’t work, forcing them to reevaluate and modify. Although we had a few initial challenges, it was exciting to watch this significant shift take place as each girl recognized their unique contribution to the project.”

    Anyone can view their completed project at the Galleria mall in Dallas, Texas, through March 2.

    “I’m blown away by how the girls captured so many details within the larger structure, from the Olympic rings and stacked shanty houses, to the people in the Olympic stadium and trees in the rainforest—using nothing but Girl Scout Cookie boxes,” says Katie. “I see new details every time I look at it.”

    While the Girl Scout Council manages most of the judging, Katie is hard at work “getting out the vote” in the People’s Choice Category. “I’d love for the girls to be rewarded for their efforts,” she says.