“Measure Your Wingspan” Part 3

Now that school is over, I was able to really start working on my projects. In particular, that meant that I had the entire day to complete the paintings on my “Measure You Wingspan” panel! Because I need to allow the paint to dry in between layers, there was only so much that I could do, but nevertheless, I persisted!

Adding details to the Killdeer after completing the Wood Duck!
The Ruby-Throated Hummingbird is finished with a wingspan of 5 inches!

Now, all that is left to do is smooth down the edges of the board, clean up stray splatters of paint, and apply the final coat of sealant onto my project. Once that is finished tomorrow, it will be all set for our trip to Texas that I will embark on on Monday!

Pure Hope Foundation Notecards

Unfortunately, today was too wet to continue working on my “Measure Your Wingspan” activity. Hopefully, when the weather clears up this week, I will be able to finish (and I will be sure to keep you guys informed on it!).

In the meantime, I have been working on another project: bird-themed notecards!

I have been working on the design for a few weeks. After lots of formatting and design, I sent them to the Pure Hope Foundation to get approval to include their logo and a small description about my project on the back.

The regular 10 notecards, which are included in the notecard packs.
A close-up of the Eastern Bluebird notecard.
The back of the bluebird notecard. The windmill logo is from the Pure Hope Foundation.

After printing them out onto paper notecards using Vistaprint, they have finally arrived, and now the only thing left to do was to fold them and put them in small notecard containers.

… Which ended up taking a whole lot longer than I expected.

The process of folding each card, constructing the plastic containers, and fitting them inside is a long and tedious process. Fortunately for me, my mom and grandmother (my grandparents travelled from Texas for my older brother’s high school graduation!) have been a huge help!

The process of folding, stacking, and packing the notecards into their plastic containers.
All finished, and ready to go!

I plan to bring these packs to Texas next week to sell and raise money for my project and the Pure Hope Foundation. Very exciting!

Intermission

As you all probably know, this is the week of the Final Exams. Because of that, I have spent this weekend studying instead of painting. I don’t have any pictures for a progress report, so instead, I am going to share some thoughts and questions about my project.

Where is the “Measure Your Wingspan” board going to go?

So far, all that I have created so far are the wooden cutouts of letters and the bird silhouettes. The reason behind this is that my family and I will be driving to Texas, making it difficult to carry anything much more than that. However, once we get to Texas, I plan on buying a larger board with a little roof, like the ones you see containing maps and bulletins at the beginning of public trails. Using this, I will attach the bird and the letters onto it and set it up along my nature trail, allowing for hikers to see it as the travel along the trails.

What other interactive activities am I planning on making?

I have a lot of ideas for interactive activities, but I have not fully fleshed them out yet. Just like the “Measure Your Wingspan” board, I am experimenting and seeing what works. Here are a few of my ideas, which I think would be fun to build and design:

  • Hummingbird Garden: A garden composed of all of the native Texas flowers which hummingbirds and butterflies love, in the shape of a heart around the Welcome Center Pergola.
  • What’s Inside a Wood Duck Box: A duck box with the entrance plugged and one of the sides replaced with plexiglass. The interior can be decorated with easter eggs and wood chips so that visitors can see inside of the box.
  • Video Cameras Inside Nest Boxes: Video cameras hooked up to real nest boxes, with the feed displayed live on a website that can be accessed via QR code. This will allow visitors to see incubating mothers and sometimes even baby birds!
  • Run Like a Roadrunner: A portion of the trail decorated with stepping stones in the shape of roadrunner footprints. There is a sign at each end explaining how quickly a roadrunner could cover the distance, inviting visitors to race and see how quickly they can get from one side to the other.
  • Beaks: A box filled with beads and dried beans of different shapes and sizes, along with different types of clothespins and binder clippers. Visitors can play with the clips by trying to see what kinds of beads that they can pick up with each “beak.” This activity will show people how different beaks have unique niches in what foods that they are best situated to eat.

“Measure Your Wingspan” Part 2

This weekend was dedicated to painting my wingspan board! Next week, I will probably be unable to make any progress because I will be busy studying for my exams, so I made sure to make this week count!

Saturday (5/15/21):

I wanted to add a little more depth and detail to these silhouettes, so I decided to accomplish this using a lighter shade of blue to highlight the feathers on the tips of the heron’s wings.

Sunday (5/16/21):

I had cut out silhouettes of the birds that will be superimposed into the Great Blue Heron before I started painting, which made it a lot easier to paint the shape of the Red-tailed Hawk!
I used a pink paint to make details on the Red-tailed Hawk’s wings and tail like I did for the Great Blue Heron. While the pink paint was out, I also painted the lowercase letters (the upper case “M,” “Y,” and “W” will be purple).

“Measure Your Wingspan”

I have 3 weeks left until the end of school, which is when I will be travelling to Texas to set up the 11 graphic panels that I have designed throughout the entire school year. They are being printed now on high quality materials, so when I get to Texas, they will all be ready to be put up!

In the meantime, I needed to find a project that I could create and bring over to Texas in this amount of time. So I thought: “how about a ‘measure your wingspan’ interactive activity?” This will be a large wooden cutout of several birds with varying wingspans, which will be attached to a post, allowing people to spread their arms up against it and compare their arm span to its wingspans. I have had this idea for a long time, and now seemed like a great time to implement it!

For the past 2 or 3 weeks, this project has been in production, but this weekend is when it really started gathering momentum. (and paint!)

Two weeks ago (4/25/21): Traced out my design, which is a Ruby-throated Hummingbird (wingspan: 4 inches) superimposed in the silhouette of a Killdeer (wingspan: 1.5 feet) superimposed in the silhouette of a Wood Duck (wingspan: 3 feet) superimposed in the silhouette of a Red-tailed Hawk (wingspan: 4 feet) superimposed in the silhouette of a Great Blue Heron (wingspan: 6 feet)!
Last week’s progress (5/1/21): Cut out the silhouettes, as well as 5 4″ minis resembling the birds in the large cutout.
Yesterday’s progress (5/8/21): Using the remaining wood, I cut out the words “Measure Your Wingspan.” Then, I painted all of them with a base coat of white.
Today’s progress (5/9/21): I painted the first color, which is that of the Great Blue Heron. Two layers of paint on the front, and one on the back!
The finished result of today’s work!

Welcome!

Hello, World!

My name is Holly W, and I am a Girl Scout working on my Girl Scout Gold Award. The Gold Award is the highest achievement that a Girl Scout can get, where we can pursue a topic that is important to us to create a sustainable impact on the community.

I love nature, especially animals. Because of this, I decided to direct my Girl Scout Gold Award towards creating nature trails, including educational graphic panels and fun interactive activities to go along with it. I have spent over 100 hours so far communicating with my team, designing my graphic panels, building activities, and planning the trails.

To achieve this goal, I have partnered with the Pure Hope Foundation, a nonprofit located in my grandparent’s town in Texas, which is dedicated towards restoring survivors of sex trafficking. To help them achieve this goal, my nature trails will provide opportunities for Eco-Therapy and Nature-Therapy.

With the funds that I received from the Jack Linger Explorer Grant, my vision of is turning into reality! The funds will be used to pay for the printing of the educational graphic panels that I designed onto high-quality, long lasting materials.

Progress so far:

  • June 2020: My Gold Award Project began!
  • July 2020: I travelled to Texas to present my vision to Mrs. Lee and Mr. Morris, the Founder and Executive directors of the Pure Hope Foundation. They who were enthusiastic about my project, and were excited for me to begin.
  • August 2020 – February 2021: I designed 11 out of my proposed 18 graphic panels. I also planned out where the three nature trails will go, although they have not been blazed yet.
  • March 2021: I travelled to Texas again to present my progress report to Mrs. Lee and Mr. Morris. I also put up some bluebird nest boxes on the property.
  • April 2021: I reviewed and finalized all of the 11 panels so far so that they can be sent to be printed on high-quality and long-lasting materials.
  • May 2021: I began working on the interactive activities that will accompany the graphic panels. Currently, I am creating the first out of many activities: “Measure your Wingspan!”

This is a very basic description of my project. If you would like to learn more in-depth about my graphic panels, my project, and the people I have worked with, feel free to explore my blogsite!