Boy Scouts to introduce a robotics merit badge

Posted by David Gomez

When you think of the Boy Scouts you usually think of outdoors activities. But now scouts will have robotics as an activity.

According to PR Newswire, in 2011 the Boy Scouts of America will be introducing a Robotics merit badge. They will now have the opportunity to design, build and exhibit a robot that comes from their own creativity.
    
The robotics badge is a portion of the BSA’s new program emphasis on STEM: science, technology, engineering, and math. You know the stuff that other countries are kicking our ass at.
    
The BSA focus on STEM takes a fun, daring approach to helping Scouts cultivate critical skills that are needed in today’s competitive world of high-tech driven employment. The new merit badge is one of 13 STEM-related merit badges that Scouts will be able to earn.
    
"The Robotics merit badge is an example of how Scouting remains true to its roots to help young people be prepared," said BSA Chief Scout Executive Bob Mazzuca. "While the guiding principles of Scouting—service to others, leadership, personal achievement, and respect for the outdoors—will never change, we continue to adapt programs to prepare young people for success in all areas of life."
    
The BSA is doing their part to keep America from turning into an idiocracy. In case you didn’t know, kids don’t think leaning is cool. How could they when Ke$ha and Jersey Shore are a big part of our media whore culture?
    
This robot-based merit badge took 14 months of development and had input from over 150 youth members, leaders, and industry professionals from around the nation. To earn the Robotics merit badge the Scout is required to understand how robots move (actuators), how they sense the environment (sensors), and how they understand what to do (programming). Scouts will have to spend approximately 14 hours to meet the requirements of this merit badge, including that they design a robot and show how it works. The BSA think that more than 10,000 Robotics merit badges will be earned in its first year.
    
The BSA established the Robotics merit badge because of the huge impact of robotics and the role STEM will continue to play in young people’s lives in the future. They are used in almost every field and they appear often in daily life.
    
Some people (mostly me) hope that one day there will be a robotic trash can who knows to get up and take its bag out to the dumpster when it is full. Dare to dream people.