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Brookfield resident creates hands-on e-waste exhibit and earns highest Girl Scout honor

Brookfield resident creates hands-on e-waste exhibit and earns highest Girl Scout honor

Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast (GSWISE) has awarded Brookfield resident and Girl Scout Allison Earl the highest honor in Girl Scouting—the Girl Scout Gold Award. Girl Scouts who receive this award are challenged to complete a variety of requirements and carry out a project that meets an expressed need in the community and beyond.

Earl’s project explored the effects of e-waste—also known as electronic waste—on developing countries, focusing on Guiyu, China, where e-waste buildup has been especially problematic. “E-waste” includes discarded electronics such as cell phones and old computers, and e-waste buildup has been linked to health complications and pollution.

“The root cause of e-waste buildup is poor public awareness, which leads to irresponsible disposal of electronic waste,” Earl said in her Gold Award final report.  “It is important to know where approved drop-off sites for e-waste are, or the e-waste could end up around the world.”

To illustrate the issue, Earl created a hands-on exhibit: Different stations demonstrated what’s in a computer, broke down current e-waste laws and showed how a computer is recycled by hand. Earl’s exhibit was displayed at the Brookfield Public Library last summer. Afterward, she passed the exhibit materials on to the Brookfield Central Environmental Club; the club plans to show the exhibit again this year.

Earl also wrote letters to Wisconsin Senators Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson and Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, urging them to support national legislation to regulate e-waste disposal.

Earl is a 2013 graduate of Brookfield Central High School. She is currently enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in the College of Natural Resources.

"Earning the Girl Scout Gold Award designation is truly a remarkable achievement, and this young woman exemplifies leadership in all its forms," said Christy L. Brown, Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast. "She saw a need in her community and took action. Her extraordinary dedication, perseverance, and leadership, is making the world a better place."

About the Girl Scout Gold Award

The Gold Award represents the highest achievement in Girl Scouting; it recognizes girls in grades 9 through 12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through sustainable and measurable Take Action projects. Since 1916, girls have successfully answered the call to go gold, an act that indelibly marks them as accomplished members of their communities and the world. A Girl Scout who has earned her Gold Award immediately rises one rank in any of the U.S. military branches.

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