Local Engineer Gives Back to Girl Scouts with Her Time and Talents

When it comes to being a Girl Scout volunteer, there are so many ways you can do it! From troop leader and cookie mom to snack provider and program facilitator, working with our girls and learning from them is so inspiring, no matter how many hours (or minutes) you can give.

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Lori Stroud of Oak Ridge has learned just that. Stroud is a cyber security engineer at BB&T, has a master’s degree in education and is the mom of three. She wanted to get involved in educational STEM-focused efforts for local school-age children and when she googled “STEM activities in the Triad”, Girl Scouts popped up and seemed like the perfect fit.

“I contacted the council and it has been a wonderful collaboration ever since!,” said Stroud. “I was not a Girl Scout in my childhood (I did 4-H), but after meeting with Sandra and learning about the Girl Scout mission and values, I fell in love. I am also impressed with how forward leaning Girl Scouts are with STEM. Robotics, science, cyber! This was just something I had to be involved in.”

Stroud has already hosted several robotics and cyber-related workshops for the council, with three more coming up in October including Daisy Cyber Security Basics Badge WorkshopBrownie Cyber Security Basics Badge Workshop and Junior Cyber Security Basics Badge Workshop. These workshops will teach girls safe online practices, how technology connects us, computer programming, security safeguards and more.

Stroud says it has been so fun to work with the girls at these workshops because they are “courageous, inquisitive, bold and have a great sense of adventure. They are STEM pioneers and truly inspiring to me.”

Along with her Girl Scout programs, Stroud has also formed a Girls Who Code Club in the Oak Ridge area. She wanted to get girls started in practicing coding languages like Javascript and Scratch so they would have a local STEM educational outlet. Through her club, Stroud is giving girls an opportunity to borrow coding workbooks, learn about women in the STEM field, practice with coding robots and put their skills to the test during weekly Saturday morning coding exercises.

To girls who are interested in STEM, Stroud encourages them to go for it. “Try it! Bring a friend! Ask a friend! STEM is so diverse. Want to try malware reverse engineering? Cool. Want to build an algorithm that analyzes social media? Great! Want to code a robot to paint? You can! STEM touches every educational discipline and makes it exponentially more fun!”

If you have a girl who is interested in attending one of Lori’s upcoming workshops, please visit our online calendar. Workshops can be found on the week of October 21. If you want to get involved with the Girls Who Code Club or would like to set up a badge workshop for your troop, please reach out to Lori here

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