Pantex Engineers Finding More Smart Cookies

  • Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2013, 12:00 am

Engineering workshop for Girl Scouts gaining popularity

A group of female engineers from Pantex are working to develop a Girl Scout cookie of a different sort: a Smart Cookie.

The Smart Cookie program started in January with a half dozen young women engineers from Pantex who decided to pass on their love of engineering to the next generation with a workshop for Girl Scouts. The program has taken off in the intervening months, with more engineers and more Girl Scouts coming together for a workshop sequel this weekend.

“The response to the first event has just been phenomenal,” said Savannah Gates, a process engineer at Pantex who helped start the program. “We thought there were a lot of girls out there who would be interested in engineering if they just had a little encouragement. It’s extremely gratifying to find so many girls showing an interest.”

The number of women engineers who are involved in the project has doubled, and a much larger group of Girl Scouts is expected at the workshop this weekend.

Gates said the workshop will teach engineering principles with a pair of projects. In the first, hard candies and diet soda will make an effective, if messy, demonstration of propulsion concepts. The second half of the workshop will show what it’s like for an engineer to work on a real project, with the girls building structures that must meet height and load bearing standards, all while staying on budget.

The future for the program looks bright, with plans underway to enlist experts from Pantex in areas as diverse as math, science and information technology, for future events with the Girl Scouts.

All Amarillo media is welcome to cover the workshop, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the Girl Scouts headquarters, 6011 SW 45th Ave. Interviews with engineers and Girl Scouts will be available.