A STEM Visit to Medtronic


When I suggested the idea of bringing my Brownie unit to visit my workplace to a couple of my co-workers at Medtronic, I never thought it would turn into such an amazing visit for the whole district!!!

So there we were, months later, on a dark and cold Monday evening in January:  47 Sparks, Brownies, and Guides along with their Guiders and unit assistants arriving at the reception doors of my workplace, not really knowing what to expect from their visit to Medtronic.  We were greeted by 15 of my amazing co-workers who volunteered their time (after a long day’s work) to assist in any way they could.


Everyone was given a visitor badge — individually personalized with their names printed on the front (a highlight of the night for the Sparks!)!  Our opening songs were performed for our hosts, who were impressed by our amazing singing and marching skills 😉   Rules were communicated, and we were led into the large training room.

We were met by Teresa Mihalik, an incredibly bright and accomplished engineer, who explained the inner workings of the heart.  The girls learned the difference between a healthy heart rhythm and a diseased heart rhythm, using a bicycle pump as an example.  Many questions were asked, and Teresa was up to the challenge of answering them all!


Pretty soon we were whisked away and sent to different group activities by unit.

The Sparks were invited to take part in the “Fairytale Challenge”, where they had 3 STEM kits to choose from.  The girls worked in teams to build their kits.

  • Goldilocks and the Three Bears: Build 3 chairs to support the three bears.


  • Three Billy Goats Gruff: Build a bridge to hold 3 goats and tall enough for the troll to stand underneath


  • Three Little Pigs: Build a house strong enough to keep out the big bad wolf.


The Brownies were invited into the R&D lab to try out some experiments.  They learned a bit about cryoenergy, guessed at what was under microscopes, played operation, dressed up in cleanroom gowns, and got to fish for underwater dinosaurs using a cryocatheter!!  It was awesome!!!

DSC_1173.JPGdsc_1045dsc_1048dsc_1206Guides were challenged with the task of building the tallest tower using a specific list of materials:

  • 20 dried spaghetti noodles
  • 1 marshmallow
  • 12 inch piece of masking tape
  • 12 inch piece of string

The teamwork and levels of concentration were astounding!!

dsc_1150dsc_1097dsc_1020After a quick snack of bear paws and water, we headed back to the reception area for a group photo and our closing songs.



Thank you Medtronic!!!  What an incredible visit… We look forward to our next one!


Lisa Labelle

Riverdale Brownie Guider

Member of QC Council

(Oh… and employee of Medtronic)


About Girl Guides of Canada - Guides du Canada - QUÉBEC

Le blogue officiel des Guides du Canada - Conseil du Québec. The official blog of the Girl Guides of Canada - Quebec Council.
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