The Boy Scouts of America have 126 badges that can be acquired by each and every individual that is part of the program. What is really surprising is the fact that a lot of these badges are much more technical than many would believe. In fact, the BSA has recently revealed a new merit badge rewarded for robotics!
The new Robotics Merit Badge has been in the planning stages since 2009 and robotics experts from groups like NASA, LEGO and the University of Texas have all contributed to its development, ensuring the requirements are up to par with current technologies.
The actual requirements the scout has to meet in order to receive his Robotics badge are surprisingly involved. While scouts won’t be expected to write their own code (just like they don’t have to go to space to receive the Space Exploration badge) they will be required to design and build a ‘bot that can perform a specified task. You can find a detailed list of requirements on the BSA’s ScoutSource page.
This is great news. It’s the 31st Merit badge to fall under a STEM category and it’s nice to see the Boy Scouts keeping up with current trends, pushing their young members toward technology-based careers. Considering they estimate 10,000 of the Merit Badges will be awarded this year, I have no doubt some of the members that pursue it will be the people behind some great robotics achievements in years to come. Let’s just hope they follow the rules and we don’t have a robot army unleashed in our communities.
What do you think? Are advanced technologies a good thing for the Boy Scouts to pursue? What other technologies should the BSA develop Merit Badges for? Hit the comments section and share your thoughts!