Without mining, you wouldn’t be reading this blog post right now. That’s because the high-tech components found in smartphones, tablets and computers are made of mined minerals.
Reading this on a computer? Thank mining for the silicon, copper, gold, silver and aluminum that make it work. Using a smartphone or tablet? Beneath each tap are rare-earth elements like yttrium, lanthanum, praseodymium and a handful of others I can’t pronounce.
Scouts who earn the new Mining in Society merit badge will, as the badge’s name suggests, gain a better appreciation for the role mining plays in our country.
Today the Boy Scouts of America officially releases Mining in Society, making it the 135th current merit badge. The badge is an elective merit badge, meaning it isn’t required for boys pursuing the Eagle Scout rank but is perfect for young men interested in exploring this as a potential career or just an interesting subject they want to learn more about.
The official “earn date,” or the date Scouts may begin work on Mining in Society, is today, Feb. 24, 2014. Look for the pamphlet in your local Scout Shop and at scoutstuff.org soon.
The BSA is releasing Mining in Society at the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration’s annual meeting in Salt Lake City, happening now.
“Mining has been an important part of the United States since the 19th century,” the BSA says. “Today, the U.S. mining industry employs 3 million people, directly and indirectly, and is a major contributor to the global mining landscape. This merit badge will cover the history of mining, explore the status of mining in the 21st century, and introduce Scouts to modern mining careers.”
But enough talk. I bet you came here for the official, full requirements. Check those out after the jump.