Scientists and Engineers participate in fifth annual APG STEM in Scouting day

October 06, 2015

By Tracie R. Dean, ARL Public Affairs

Story Highlights

  • Leadership from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory's STEM Outreach Center along with military dignitaries and local community professionals joined Cub, Boy, Girl and Venturer Scouts participating in the fifth annual STEM in Scouting Day held Saturday, 12 September at Aberdeen Proving Ground.
  • Launched in 2011 as merit badge day, STEM in Scouting day was developed to align an educational approach with existing programs offered by the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to enrich the explorative experiences of Scouts.
  • As part of the initiative, BSA developed the STEM/Nova Awards program which enhances STEM literacy so that youth members have academically stimulating experiences as well as receive recognition for their efforts via STEM merit badges.

Leadership from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory's STEM Outreach Center along with military dignitaries and local community professionals joined Cub, Boy, Girl and Venturer Scouts participating in the fifth annual STEM in Scouting Day held Saturday, 12 September at Aberdeen Proving Ground.

The wet weather may have dampened the event, but it failed to dampen the spirits of the countless number of Scouts attending the event aimed at incorporating scientific discovery and influencing STEM awareness in the lives of scouts in a practical way.

STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach.

ARL's K - 12 STEM Outreach Manager, Theresa Racine, commented on the significance of the event and the value added by incorporating STEM elements throughout the program.

"I was excited and encouraged to see so many young people engaged in all the STEM related activities," said Racine These. "Scouts are our future and this was an opportunity for them to interact and network with current scientists and engineers."

Launched in 2011 as merit badge day, STEM in Scouting day was developed to align an educational approach with existing programs offered by the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), to enrich the explorative experiences of Scouts. In an effort to increase Scout's exposure to science, technology, engineering and math, more commonly referred to as STEM, the BSA incorporated hands-on STEM-related activities into its program as part of an initiative to inspire the interests of its youth members.

As part of the initiative, BSA developed the STEM/Nova Awards program which enhances STEM literacy so that youth members have academically stimulating experiences as well as receive recognition for their efforts via STEM merit badges.

Nova and Super Nova Awards were designed make learning and Merit badge earning fun. Throughout the day, Cub Scouts (8 to 10 years old), Boy Scouts (11 years old) and Venturers (14 to 20 years old) had an opportunity to earn the distinctive STEM Nova Awards, Super Nova awards or STEM-related Merit badges. Individuals could earn awards in a variety of areas to include chemistry, engineering, innovation and science and technology. Awards and badges were presented based on the Scout's knowledge and understanding of STEM concepts.

The event was led by volunteers from the APG Community and the Baltimore Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

During closing ceremonies, Navy Midshipmen Eagle Scouts joined youth scouts earning awards and merit badges for certificates presentations.

Today, STEM in Scouting day is noted as the largest and most inclusive scouting STEM event of its kind dedicated to developing STEM oriented skills and promotion of STEM/Nova Awards.


The U.S. Army Research Laboratory is the nation's premier laboratory for land forces and is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM), which has the mission to develop technology and engineering solutions for America's Soldiers. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command. AMC is the Army's premier provider of materiel readiness. If a Soldier shoots it, drives it, flies it, wears it, eats it or communicates with it, AMC delivers it.

For more information, visit www.arl.army.mil, follow @ArmyResearchLab on Twitter and follow the lab on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ArmyResearchLaboratory.

 

Last Update / Reviewed: October 6, 2015