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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 ScoutingMagazine.org. See the full post here: http://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2015/03/05/stem-troop-meetings/





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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Why every unit needs a STEM Coordinator?

Posted By Administration, Thursday, September 25, 2014

We wanted to reblog this post from Scoutingmagazine.org 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 http://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2014/09/23/stem-coordinator/

Tags:  scouting magazine  STEM 

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Department of Energy STEM Event

Posted By Jacklyn Duff, Friday, February 07, 2014

STEM organizations are all around us and growing. 

This week we had the pleasure of attending a STEM event held by the Department of Energy. There are many wonderful organizations and resources available to Scouts in the area. This post will highlight a few of the ones we learned about.

 

The Real World Design Challenge

This is an annual high school engineering challenge that gives students the experience of designing solutions to existing real world problems. Participating teams receive $1 million of engineering software for modeling their solutions. This year's challenge is called Precision Agriculture, which focuses on using unmanned aircraft systems to assist in reducing food shortage in the future. Click here for more information.

 

Patent Office

The Patent Office wants to help all inventors no matter what their age. They work closely with FIRST robotics in order to assist any teams that create ideas capable of being patented. Click here for a link to their kids section of their website.

 

Department of Energy

The Department of Energy has several competitions including Solar Decathlon, Wind Competitions, Clean Energy Plan, EcoCars, and Geothermal Energy. There are many activities such as building a solar pizza box oven or creating energy action checklists. Click here for more information. 

Tags:  Department of Energy  Education  Engineering  Math  Science  STEM  Techonolgy 

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Angry Bird Teach Computer Programing

Posted By Jacklyn Duff, Thursday, December 12, 2013

This week is Computer Science Education Week. Writing computer code may seem like a difficult task, but don't worry the Angry Birds are here to help you out. If you visit csedweek.org, Angry Birds will teach you how to code in an hour using simple blocks instead of typed lines of code. There are talks by Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. Education sites like Khan Academy and Grok Learning have also created code tutorials.

Tags:  Code  Computer Science  STEM 

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