The Boy Scouts of America has joined with NASA to introduce a Robotics Merit Badge, part of the BSA’s emphasis on science and technology.
The Robotics merit badge is part of the BSA’s new curriculum emphasis on STEM: science, technology, engineering, and math. The BSA focus on STEM takes a fun, adventurous approach to helping Scouts develop critical skills that are relevant and needed in today’s competitive world. The new merit badge is one of 31 STEM-related merit badges that Scouts can earn.
While Scouts can still get badges for archetypal scouting behaviors like bugling, other traditional Scouting badges like Carpentry, Pathfinding and Tracking have been retired in favor of badges that tend more toward book knowledge like Architecture, Composites, and Nuclear Science.
The Scouts have come a long way since the days when the Boy Scout Handbook encouraged boys to consider that “many gorgeous toadstools are wholesome food.” (Scaredy Scouts: Today’s mollycoddled troops need a dose of the original Scout handbook, Aaron Rowe, Wired Magazine April 2011)