By Conor McCue

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – A group of Colorado Girl Scouts were hard at work Wednesday building “bee hotels” at Cherry Creek State Park. It’s all an effort to earn the “Think Like A Citizen Scientist” badge – one of 42 new badges created this month by Girl Scouts of America.

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All of the new badges have an emphasis on the outdoors or STEM learning. AnneMarie Harper, public relations director for the Girl Scouts of Colorado, said girls had been asking for more opportunities in those areas.

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“Girls have said to us, I want to learn about space, I want to learn about space science, I want to learn about conservation or how I can make sustainable change in my community,” Harper said. “Once we heard that from girls, we developed badges to meet those needs.

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On Wednesday, the project was focused on bees. Dozens of girls helped build “bee hotels” for the insects to lay their eggs safely.

By doing so, 11-year-old Aimee Stone, will earn her “Think Like A Citizen Scientist” badge. It’ll be the fourth badge she’s ever earned.

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The idea behind the badge is for girls to learn how scientists solve problems using the scientific method.

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“You don’t even realize it, but you’re being a citizen scientist just by watching the world around you,” Stone said.

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Before they started working on their projects, the Girl Scouts also got a lesson on bees from the Colorado State Beekeeping Society. In the hour-long presentation, girls were able to see real honeycombs and hives, as well as ask questions.

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“They can take what they’ve learned here and apply that to their next Girl Scout badge, apply it when they go back to school in science, in math, in any aspect of their life,” Harper said.

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That’s why today’s lesson was about so much more. Aimee Stone was one of the first to point it out.

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“Science is one of those things that no matter how much you know, there is always more you can learn,” she said.

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Stone now plans to use similar scientific methods pursing her next badge in robotics.

“I’ve just always been really interested in programming and how technology is one of the things we take for granted but does so much in our lives,” Stone said.

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The girls still have more work to do on their project. They’ll likely finish up and get their badges on Friday. They’re still figuring out where they want the bee hotels to go.

Conor McCue

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