September 26, 2022
[DALLAS, TX] — On Sept. 26, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas (GSNETX) and KGPCo hosted the official ribbon cutting for the Kathleen Gaye Putrah Connected Botany Space. Sponsored by KGPCo, the smart greenhouse at GSNETX’s STEM Center of Excellence at Camp Whispering Cedars is powered by AT&T's wireless network, in partnership with 5G capability from Ericsson.
In the greenhouse, girls will use soil sensors, data analytics, and a custom app on the 5G network. Long-term goals include integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and robotics. The enhanced 5G network is essential in driving this self-sustaining, cost-effective greenhouse.
“Two years ago, a small group of us from AT&T and Ericsson had an idea to bring the best of smart botany and data science to Girl Scouts at the STEM Center of Excellence,” said Cassie Lee, Chief Audit Executive at AT&T. “Ever since that moment, partnerships have powered this work. This leadership investment from KGPCo allowed this space to serve hundreds of girls, grow thousands of plants, and expand minds across the region.”
The Connected Botany Space is named in honor of the late Kathleen Putrah, KGPCo’s former CEO.
“As a women-owned business, KGPCo is proud to support the Girl Scouts Stem Center of Excellence,” said Megan VonRuden, Chair of KGPCo. “Dedicating the Connected Botany Space to our founder, Kathleen G. Putrah, is an important way for us to honor her legacy and the contributions she made to the Telecommunications industry. She was, and we remain, committed to the development of young women and providing them opportunities to succeed in life.”
The Connected Botany Space is the STEM Center’s latest innovation connecting Girl Scouts to science and nature. The STEM Center of Excellence provides a place for all girls to be lifted up and build the confidence they need to lead in STEM, the outdoors, and the 21st century.
“This is a space for our girls to foster the plants they will grow but also the important relationships – with other girls, with caring adults, with corporate volunteers, and with mentors who will give them the confidence they need to go back into their classrooms and raise their hands,” said Jennifer Bartkowski, CEO of GSNETX. “This investment continues our efforts to build a future workforce pipeline for girls, ensuring they know the latest in STEM so they can be best equipped to walk their journey, wherever it may lead.”