Just in time for Women’s History Month 2021, we partnered with our local Girl Scout council, Girl Scouts - Diamonds of Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas, to create a three-part series on raising awesome girls. Each post will focus on a different theme: encouraging girls to be leaders, helping your girl find her passion at school (complete with a step-by-step at-home STEM project) and supporting your girl’s mental health. 

Thanks to the Girl Scout Research Institute and Girl Scouts USA blog “Raising Awesome Girls,” Girl Scouts - Diamonds helped us put together a great resource that we are excited to share with all Little Rock families.

If you missed our post on encouraging her leadership skills, check it out here! Next up in our series: tips on supporting your girl’s interest in STEM. Read on for ideas on finding science moments in your everyday life and an easy on-hands activity you can try at home. 

LRF: How can parents encourage their girl to see STEM through their everyday routines? 

Girl Scouts - Diamonds: It’s important to remember that kids’ ideas about the world and themselves often come straight from their immediate family’s words and actions. If your girl hears her mom or other female family members complaining that they’ve “never been good at math,” while dad or another male family member takes on all tech projects in the house—from hooking up the latest gaming system to setting up the Wi-Fi password—it’s likely that she’ll start to think STEM skills are for boys and not for her. One way around this (that works even for parents who don’t feel confident in their own math or science skills) is to look at STEM as an area you can explore alongside your girl. 

LRF: How can parents channel their girl’s natural engineering skills?

Girl Scouts - Diamonds: If your girl likes science, she may be interested in engineering! We can inspire girls to explore a future in engineering by showing them how STEM subjects are interesting, exciting and can help people lead better lives. Help channel your girl’s inner engineer skills by playing a game to spot science and engineering in our everyday lives. Help her take things apart (safety first!) to see how they work. Get outdoors and observe the science of nature.

LRF: How can parents foster design-thinking in their girl? 

Girl Scouts - Diamonds: Encourage your girl to identify problems and brainstorm solutions to solve them. Is your girl passionate about the environment and protecting wildlife? Encourage her to follow the steps of the design-thinking process to engineer a prototype for a new and better way to hold a six-pack of soda cans that isn't harmful to animals. She will challenge her critical thinking skills and make a plan to address the problem.

LRF: How does being comfortable with failing help your budding scientist?

Girl Scouts - Diamonds: Help girls understand that it’s great to dream big, but that it’s OK to fail too. Failure can be a good thing! Trying, failing and rethinking and trying again is what STEM professionals do all the time. “The freedom to fail, and try again, allows girls to flex their problem-solving and leadership skills,” according to Dr. Andrea Bastiani Archibald, Girl Scouts of the USA’s resident developmental psychologist. 

LRF: What are the benefits of hands-on projects for kids? 

Girl Scouts - Diamonds: Hands-on projects are a great way to encourage your girl’s creativity and problem-solving skills. Being able to follow through on an idea of her own without passing it off to someone else is psychologically satisfying. The process of imagining a concept for a project and transforming it into a finished product gives girls the confidence to follow through with their ideas.

LRF: What are your top recommendations for local STEM role models and resources?

Girl Scouts - Diamonds: Join Girl Scouts! We currently have 71 different STEM badges and help girls change the world using STEM. We have a STEAM Center in Fort Smith that provides hands on STEAM programming just for girls. We also recommend these local resources:

  • Museum of Discovery

  • UALR STEM Education Center

  • Little Rock Zoo

  • Witt Stephens Jr. Game and Fish Nature Center 

  • State Parks

  • Little Rock sustainability office

  • Innovation Hub

  • Little Rock Audubon Center

Hands-On Science: How To Make Butter 

Encourage your girl’s creativity and hands-on know-how with this at-home project. First gather your materials, and then decide if you want to try your hand at making butter with a mixer or with a jar—we’ve included both sets of instructions. 

The bonus of this project? You get fresh, homemade butter and buttermilk at the end. You can store the butter at room temperature for 3-5 days or 7-10 days if refrigerated. The buttermilk can be stored in the fridge for 5-8 days. Make sure both are tightly sealed. 


  • Heavy whipping cream, room temperature

  • Strainer or cheesecloth

  • Mixer, jar or whisk for mixing

  • Large mixing bowl

  • Container for buttermilk product

  • Container for butter

  • Utensils to move butter and to press milk out of butter in the strainer

  • Optional for flavored butter: cinnamon, garlic, almond, etc.

Two Butter-Making Methods: Using a Mixer | Using a Jar 

Method One: Using a Mixer to Make Butter

  1. Pour a cup of fresh heavy whipping cream into a large mixing bowl and start beating it with an electric mixer.

  2. If you have a flavor you want, add it in now.

  3. After about 10 minutes of beating, you should have whipped cream with high peaks. Keep going, you are almost to butter!

  4. After about 10-15 more minutes, you will see butter separating from the buttermilk.

  5. Beat the cream until the sloshing sound made by the separating liquid stops. You will have created two new substances—butter and buttermilk!

  6. Take out the fluffy butter from the bowl and put it in the strainer to get buttermilk out of it. 

  7. Then, keep it under cold water in order to remove excess water from the butter.

Method Two: Using a Jar to Make Butter

  1. Pour the cream into the jar. 

  2. Screw the lid onto the jar securely.

  3. Now, hold on tight to your jar and “shake with force.” Use your arms to make firm, vigorous strokes. Do this for between five and 20 minutes. You should start to see results in about 10 minutes.

  4. At 10 minutes you should have whipped cream, keep shaking for about 10 more minutes. Trade off with a parent or sibling if you get tired!

  5. The butter is done when it has completely separated from the liquid and forms a solid, single clump.