Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois (GSofSI) congratulates Rowan Dothager from Staunton, Illinois for becoming a Gold Award Girl Scout—a designation she earned through her “Full STEAM Ahead” project. Rowan has also been named a Trifecta Award Girl Scout-a designation she received through earning all three Bronze, Silver, and Gold Girl Scout Awards during her service as a Girl Scout. Rowan is the daughter of Jason Dothager and Sarah Drury-Dothager from Staunton, Illinois. At the time of earning her Gold Award she was a student at Staunton Community High School.
Rowan is an advocate for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education. She has also served on a local Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois robotics team since junior high and she also has a passion for the arts. For Rowan, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, math, and art) is the perfect combination of these two worlds.
For her “Full STEAM Ahead” project Rowan created a four-week afterschool curriculum for middle schoolers teaching the science behind art. She also ran a free after-school series of classes at the Macoupin Art Collective in Staunton, Illinois. The sessions taught physics through building mobiles, chemical photography through solar prints, ceramic engineering through pottery, and metallurgical engineering through jewelry making.
Rowan researched additional information in order to more fully develop her curriculum for the print version of the coursework– including additional experiments and background content. She worked with Graphic Designer Mark Harmon to create PDFs of the curriculum that she shared throughout her community.
She also reached out to her community through teaching classes at local clubs and working with volunteers to present activities at these local events. Among the most prominent volunteers: Brandace Cloud and Marcella Cloud at the Macoupin Art Collective, the Edwardsville Technologies FIRST Robotics Challenge team, and Kristi Orlet, Art Instructor at Edwardsville High School.
Through her project she has learned to become a much more responsible, accountable, and flexible leader. She has always loved teaching, organizing, and creating. Still she had never taken on a project of this magnitude. Rowan comments, “Throughout this project, I had to learn to let go and let the students discover their own challenges and triumphs and through this project I learned a greater sense of passion for the success of others!”
Rowan says this project has helped her learn about how much drive and determination she truly has, and that no matter what happens, she is confident she can accomplish anything. She notes, “I wanted to give back to my local community and inspire a new generation of kids to love STEAM.” Her project “Full STEAM Ahead” does just that.
The Gold Award is the mark of the truly remarkable—earned by a high school Girl Scout who works to address an issue she’s passionate about in a way that produces meaningful and lasting change. Whether it’s on a local, national, or global level, Gold Award Girl Scouts provide innovative solutions to significant challenges.
Gold Award Girl Scouts don’t just change the world for the better, they change it for good. The Gold Award is earned by girls in grades 9–12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership in developing sustainable solutions to local, national, and global challenges. Since the highest award was established in 1916, Girl Scouts have answered the call to drive lasting, impactful change. The Gold Award is the mark of the truly remarkable. Along with making a measurable impact on those in her community, Rowan also gained self-assurance in her own ability to make a difference.
Rowan is also a Trifecta Award Girl Scout. The Trifecta Award honors accomplished girls who have earned all three of Girl Scouting’s highest awards – the Bronze Award, Silver Award, and Gold Award! GSofSI celebrates girls who accomplish this incredible feat and continuously strive to make the world a better place. Rowan earned her Silver Award in April 2016 when she started the first all-girl Jr. First Lego League team in Macoupin County. She also recruited coaches to take on the team in the years that followed. Rowan earned her Bronze Award in September of 2013 when she helped her Troop 1075 in organizing a kids’ health fair in which she and other members of her troop educated other kids on the importance of exercise, healthy eating habits, and avoiding drug use.