Robots are taking over the world!
OK, I’m overreacting, a little, but I can’t help it. This week has me thinking about robotics and the many ways in which machines make our lives better.
So get with the programming and involve your pack, troop, team, or crew in National Robotics Week activities.
Combine the annual event with the new Robotics merit badge, and you’ve got the perfect excuse to tell your Scouts about this field that goes hand in hand with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
How do you flip the “on” switch this week for your Scouts? Begin by finding an event near you. Here’s how:
Stumped when Scouts question you about new merit badges?
I hear you. With so many new and exciting merit badges, keeping up isn’t easy.
That’s why I created a guide to New Merit Badges — a concise, regularly updated information source.
Click here to check it out. Or find it at the top of the homepage, right under the Bryan on Scouting logo.
- Merit badges that have been announced but not yet released
- Merit badges that are scheduled to get major updates
- Merit badges that have debuted in the past three years.
Add the page to your bookmarks, and never again scratch your head when Scouts ask “Is ________ merit badge out yet?”
Unless one of their relatives won last week’s Mega Millions jackpot, your Scouts will need a job some day.
Sorry. Just one of life’s little realities.
But here’s the good news: Part of helping Scouts become ”Prepared. For Life.” includes giving young people hands-on experience that could lead to a career.
Each merit badge boys earn gives them a glimpse at what life might be like as a doctor, architect, police officer, etc.
And now, thanks to the Welding merit badge, which debuted in February, Scouts can try this increasingly high-tech skill.
Update (March 5, 2012): As of Feb. 24, the merit badge is now “live”! The pamphlet should be in your local Scout Shop, or you can order it through ScoutStuff by clicking here. Once it’s earned, Scouters can click here to order the emblem.
Hot news: Welding merit badge here!
As I told you in November, the BSA turned to the American Welding Society to help create a new merit badge that will teach Scouts about a real-world field where demand for workers exceeds supply.
The image of Industrial Age welders toiling away in dimly lit factories is long gone. Today’s welders must learn cutting-edge technology to create the products we use every day—cars, buildings, bicycles.
With America’s demand for manufactured goods growing, so too is the need for new talent. By the end of the decade, it’s estimated that our country will have a critical need for 200,000 new welders. Talk about job security!
Right on cue, the BSA’s 128th current merit badge is scheduled for a Feb. 24, 2012 release.
That means Scouts can now pick up a copy of the requirements book and start earning the badge.
To give you an idea of what’s in store, check out the official, final Welding merit badge requirements:
What were the hottest merit badges last year?
I’ve got the answer. Maybe.
So first, a caveat: The friendly folks at the Supply Division tell me there’s no way to determine exact numbers of merit badges earned. That info is tracked by troops — not the National Council.
That said, by examining sales figures, we can get some idea which badges sold more than others in 2011. I’m thinking that if a Scouter buys a merit badge emblem in a Scout Shop or at ScoutStuff.org, chances are good that a Scout recently earned the badge.
After examining the 2011 sales list, here’s what I’ve come up with for the 20 top-selling merit badges of 2011:
The next big thing: Will one of your Scouts invent it?
Encourage that future Ford, Fulton, or Bell to enter the Boy Scouts of America and Edison Nation Challenge, where creative thinkers could get help turning their ideas into products.
Edison Nation, an “idea-to-shelf product developer,” has teamed up with the BSA to promote this challenge. But despite the collaboration, the challenge is open to boys and girls ages 7 to 21, regardless of BSA membership.
Couple this news with the recent release of the Inventing merit badge, and there’s no better time to get your Scouts to think about their new ideas.
Here’s how it works: Continue reading
UPDATE, Jan. 27, 2012: Click here for a Welding merit badge update and the final, official requirements.
Want to spark some passion in your Scouts?
Tell them about Welding, the next new merit badge from the Boy Scouts of America.
When it debuts in the next month or two, it will become the BSA’s 128th current merit badge, joining fellow newcomer Chess, which made its move onto the list during the summer. (See a complete list of merit badges here.)
Looking for a way to get your Scouts excited about Robotics merit badge?
Just look up. Way up.
Scouts who earn the Robotics merit badge between April 12 and Sept. 30, 2011, can enter to win a special Robotics merit badge and NASA prize package. Continue reading
The age of robots in the Boy Scouts of America has begun.
No, the BSA isn’t planning to replace Scoutmasters with androids. At least not that I’ve heard of.
I’m referring to today’s launch of the Robotics merit badge. It’s the latest example of how Scouting embraces the interests of modern boys while preparing them for careers in science, technology, engineering, and math—fields collectively known as STEM.
Perfect timing, too. Saturday marked the start of the second-annual National Robotics Week, and the VEX Robotics World Championship begins on Thursday. And then, on April 29, NASA will carry 100 Robotics merit badges into space aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour. Continue reading
Through the Wireless merit badge (now known as Radio merit badge), the Jamboree on the Air, and K2BSA at the national Scout jamboree, the Boy Scouts of America and the American Radio Relay League have a partnership that has spanned generations.
And late last month, the two organizations made their bond official.
That’s when BSA Chief Scout Executive Bob Mazzuca and ARRL President Kay Craigie signed a Memorandum of Understanding. Read the complete memorandum here (link opens PDF), or watch the video above for a summary of how this partnership affects you.
In the history of the BSA’s interaction with ARRL, the Scouting organization has awarded more than 140,000 Radio merit badges, hosted 53 Jamboree on the Air events, and allowed hundreds of thousands of Scouts to experience the wonder of amateur radio.
And that’s only the beginning.