DMA and our Made By Girls program were honored to host the Girl Scouts of Northern California at our headquarters in Los Gatos, California for a film workshop in February. This was our second partnership with the Girl Scouts after participating in a Girl Scouts/NASA event back in November. At NASA, DMA hosted Game Design workshops, spoke on a STEM career panel, and taught over 200 Girl Scouts how to build mini circuits courtesy of our friends at Sparkfun. This time, the girls needed our help to realize their storytelling super powers.



Instructor and grown-up Girl Scout, Ellen Teel, leads the girls through the first story building exercise.

The What’s Your Superpower? film workshop with Girl Scouts of Northern California was designed to prepare the girls for a red carpet film event, where the girls shared their mini films on the big screen and experience the full red carpet treatment at the Palo Alto Film Guild on March 11th. This yearly event is truly a grassroots effort by local Girl Scouts, Erin and Francesca, to encourage girls to create and screen their own films locally. Both Erin and Francesca were fantastic teaching assistants for the workshop, sharing the best ways to hold the camera, develop a scene, and prepare early edits.



Two girls planning their superhero story.

The superhero theme was a great segue to touching on all the ways people can be courageous. The girls were the first to point out that superhero traits and powers aren’t always about super strength or gadgets. “A superhero is often sometimes you don’t expect to be the hero – sometimes the superhero is not who you think will be brave or strong,” one girl shared, identifying her mom as a superhero. Another added, “I think everyone in this room is a superhero.”



DMA Instructor Ellen and Girl Scout Leaders, Francesca and Erin, pass the starfish in the opening icebreaker!

The girls also explored how movies create emotional reactions. Several girls shared the last time a story made them cry or relate to different characters in a new way. Each girl also shared what made her proud of what she accomplished that afternoon. “I’m proud of myself because I did something new and I worked with other girls.”


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Green screen time!

Having the students share what made them proud reminded us why we do what we do – to create opportunities for students to grow, share their stories, and bring out the best in each other. We were so proud of the girls and deeply grateful for the opportunity to work in support of their dazzlingly creative (and incredibly complex!) stories. Made By Girls Director, Peggy Lee, will be at the Palo Alto Theatre Guild to cheer on the girls and speak at their red carpet screening event.