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Top tags: STEM  Boy Scouts  scouting magazine  Code  Computer Science  Department of Energy  Education  Engineering  inventing  Math  Science  Techonolgy  USPTO 

Here’s how to add more STEM to your troop meetings

Posted By STEM Team, Thursday, March 05, 2015

Below is a reblog from the post by Bryan Wendall on See the full post here:

There’s one surefire way to keep your Boy Scouts coming back week after week: Make your troop meetings as fun as possible.

Give your Scouts pipe foam and duct tape so they can create an insane miniature roller coaster. Watch as they craft catapults out of sticks and rubber bands to fling marshmallows at other patrols. Let them build robots.

The Scouts will have a blast, and you’ll love knowing they’re learning about STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — in the process.

So how do you make your troop meetings more STEM-filled? Fire up the March 2015 ScoutCast.

The hosts interview Ron Colletti, a volunteer in the Greater St. Louis Council who’s a member of the National BSA STEM Committee.

He shares ideas for each letter of STEM. Here are a few highlights:

Science: Fun with Diet Coke and Mentos

“So I’ve got one that contains Diet Coke and Mentos and all the Mentos launch tubes and why we get that reaction when you mix those two together,” Colletti says. “One of the things we try to do is take the Diet Coke and we’ll put some outside in the heat and let it warm up. We’ll put some on ice, let it cool down, and then we can measure the temperature and look at how that affects that Diet Coke and Mentos reaction. Everyone likes working with that.”

Technology: Make a gadget

“Technology’s a little bit harder to put together an activity,” Colletti says. “It takes a little bit more planning but there are activities available — most of those around kits that the Scouts can obtain to build, like a working radio or a clock.”

Engineering: Build a catapult

“I ask the Scouts to build a catapult,” Colletti says. “This is what I want you to do with it, shooting projectiles, and you have to reach a certain distance and then we’re going to look at accuracy as well. So they have to build that catapult but then they also have to calibrate it. They have to figure out how to make it, not just shoot, but shoot where they want it to go, which is kind of interesting.”

Math: Fun with numbers (yes, really)

“This could be as simple as measuring physical sizes, the volume of a room, to making cyphers and codes, or even more involved in tracking of sports data leading to statistical evaluations,” Colletti says.

Hear or read the March 2015 ScoutCast

I’ve only scratched the surface of what’s covered here. Go here to listen to or go here to readthe March 2015 ScoutCast.


Tags:  Boy Scouts  scouting magazine  STEM 

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USPTO hosts first Inventing Merit Badge class

Posted By STEM Team, Friday, December 19, 2014
Updated: Thursday, December 18, 2014

Since Boy Scouts of America introduced the Inventing Merit Badge in 2010, just over 50 scouts in the National Capital Area Council had earned the honor. But this year, that number will increase significantly. Eight employees of the United States Patent & Trademark Office, and now Inventing Merit Badge Counselors, put together a two-day class for Scouts to earn the Inventing Merit Badge. They held the first part of the class on November 15th at the USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, VA. From 9AM, Scouts trickled in with their pre-requisites of the Inventing Merit Badge completed, blue cards, and a piece of scouting gear with a patent number in hand, as directed upon pre-registration. These scouts had an exclusive opportunity to tour the USPTO headquarters, hear from and speak to a real inventor, and explore the Inventor’s Hall of Fame and Museum. On January 10th, 2015 they will reconvene at the USPTO in Alexandria, VA to demonstrate working models of their inventions to complete the final requirements in earning their Merit Badge. 

Christmas Tree in the USPTO on November 15th. 




 A boy scout views the Inventor's Hall of Fame. 

Boy Scouts explore the Inventor's Hall of Fame & Museum at the USPTO Headquarters in Alexandria, VA. 




Scouts really enjoyed tinkering on this sound machine!




Tags:  Boy Scouts  inventing  USPTO 

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Why every unit needs a STEM Coordinator?

Posted By Administration, Thursday, September 25, 2014

We wanted to reblog this post from for our Scouter STEM enthusiasts!


"Serious about STEM? Then you need a Unit STEM Coordinator.

This adult position is the point of contact for all Scouts in the pack, troop or crew to help promote and deliver STEM programs in the unit.

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math. And it’s important.

The U.S. Department of Commerce says STEM occupations are projected to grow by 17 percent from 2008 to 2018, compared to 9.8 percent growth for non-STEM occupations.

Empowering an adult volunteer to serve as Unit STEM Coordinator will help your Scouts develop skills that could one day land them high-paying, exciting jobs in fields that are actually hiring.

So a STEM Coordinator is important, but are you the man or woman for the job? If not you, then who?

Let’s hear from Teresa and Ron Colletti, members of the BSA National STEM/Nova Committee. Richard Stone, the education and training leader of the STEM/Nova Committee who has contributed to other STEM posts on my blog, offers his wisdom, too."

- See full post at

Tags:  scouting magazine  STEM 

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Forensics Friday at the Maryland Science Center

Posted By Administration, Friday, August 22, 2014
The Drug Enforcement Administration offered our Scouts and leaders scholarships to attend the Forensics Friday Event on August 15, 2014 at the Maryland Science Center. Crime Lab investigators, Federal agents, and local and state police were on hand demonstrating the latest in technologies that help them do their jobs. This video is of a F6A robot out front of the Maryland Science Center. 

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Science Center Camp-in

Posted By Jacklyn Duff, Wednesday, April 09, 2014
The Maryland Science Center is offering Camp-in events for members of youth organizations. This is not a BSA sponsored event, but it could be a great opportunity to have fun learning about STEM.

"Camp-In combines an indoor, overnight adventure with exciting, interactive science education. Camp-In includes IMAX and Planetarium shows, three hands-on science workshops, time to explore many of the museum’s interactive exhibits, and limited time to shop in the store. Camp-In also includes an evening snack, a light breakfast, and a participation patch. Check-In begins at 5:15 PM and the program ends after IMAX in the morning at 9:00 AM."

For more information visit: Maryland Science Center

Information Sheet
Workshop Description

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MITRE Scouting Engineering Day Information

Posted By Jacklyn Duff, Thursday, April 03, 2014


2014 MITRE Scout Engineering Day
Scout Engineering Day check-in starts at 7:30 am, April 5, 2014 at the McLean campus. See the building maps below. Visitors please park in the East Parking Lot and proceed to the Conference Center entrance.

If you are only participating in an afternoon session, you may arrive by 12:30 for registration and lunch (1 PM if you want to skip lunch).


Please arrive promptly at 7:30 to check in.

8:30 is Opening Ceremony

AM Classes are 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Lunch is from 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM

Afternoon registration is from 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM

PM Classes are 1:30 PM – 5:00 PM


Reminders for Scouts: Be Prepared!

·         Class ‘A’ Uniform is required

·         Please ensure your Scoutmaster approves your attendance with a signed blue card

·         Vegetarian lunch options are available. Those with other food considerations such as allergies should bring lunch


Event Operations Center - Contact information

Event Operations Center (571) 926-0451

MITRE Security Center (703) 983-6024



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Volunteering Science Festival Webinar

Posted By Jacklyn Duff, Monday, March 31, 2014
There will be a webinar training tonight at 7PM for anyone who has or wants to volunteer for the USA Science and Engineering Festival. The information is below. The session will be recorded and posted at a later date on the website.

1. Please join my meeting.
2. Use your microphone and speakers (VoIP) - a headset is recommended. Or, call in using your telephone.
United States: +1 (267) 507-0017
Access Code: 564-973-989
Audio PIN: Shown after joining the meeting
Meeting ID:564-973-989

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STEM Events

Posted By Jacklyn Duff, Friday, March 21, 2014
MITRE Scout Engineering Day Registration is coming to a close. There are only a few slots left. Registration closes when they are full or Monday March 24th at midnight, whichever comes first.
Please register at:

NCAC is still in need of adult and youth volunteers to help us run our booth at the nation's largest STEM Expo. Please sign up at:

Have a wonderful weekend!

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MITRE Scout Engineering Day Registration

Posted By Jacklyn Duff, Monday, March 03, 2014
MITRE Scout Engineering Day registration will be open to the public at 7 P.M. on Wednesday March 5th.

A link to registration will be posted on and and in the council calendar.

Prior to Wednesday night, please review this catalog. It contains information about the day of the event, the sessions being offered, how to register, and the prerequisites for the merit badges. Session fill up quickly, so please review the catalog to assist in a quick registration.If you have any questions, please e-mail

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What is color?

Posted By Jacklyn Duff, Friday, February 14, 2014

What is a flame?


Actor Allan Alda asked this question to his science teacher, who simply replied "oxidation." He has always been a curious person, and answers like this were never satisfying. He, along with Stony Brook University, have been running a competition. They are challenging scientists and engineers to communicate concepts more simply. Scientists submit their explanation and a panel of scientists reviews it for accuracy. Next is the true hurdle, it is judged by 11 year old students for understandably and enjoyment.


The first question posed was "what is a flame." The winner made an animation depicting the various aspects of a flame using boxing lego blocks. Last year scientists were asked to explain time. This year's challenge is to explain what color is.


For more information about the challenge or to see previous winners click here.

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