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Supporting STEM

When we invest in girls, they change the world.

Shining examples of this kind of impact are reflected through sisters Mary and Katherine Buchanan. Because of Girl Scouting, they have become young leaders and outstanding citizens in service to their community. They are truly examples of girls being and doing their best!

The sisters’ leadership stories begin when they joined Girl Scouts as Daisies. As a Brownie, Mary started in the FIRST Lego League Jr program with a team called “Snowflake Divas.” She was active in Robotics through Girl Scouts until she aged out at 14. Mary then joined the Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois’ FIRST Tech Challenge team called Oops! As a dedicated robotics participant, she was nominated for the Dean Kamen (FIRST Founder) recognition - due largely to her outreach efforts and her mentorship to team members and new teams in her area.

Mary’s sister Katherine, for her Gold Award Girl Scout Project created a multi-faceted “Summer of STEM” project centered on the need to have more girls experiencing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in order to empower them into STEM futures. Katherine organized volunteers to run the activity room at the FLL Jr Robotics Expo where over 30 teams participated. She also ran STEM education sessions as part of her local library’s summer reading program. Another component of her expansive project involved providing STEM activities to over 100 girls that attended Girl Scout Day Camp. The final part of her project was a 3-day FIRST Lego Robotics League Junior camp which involved over 30 K-3rd grade students. 

Because of your generous support, Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois builds girls such as Mary and Katherine into leaders every day!

Please contact Michelle Ochsner ( or Angela Strobel ( at 800.345.6858 for more information.