BSA provides Webelos den meeting ideas for Cub Scout den leaders on the Scouting.org website. The fifth in the Arrow of Light series of Webelos den meeting plans covers part of the Scientist Activity Badge.
This meeting plan covers a lot. Consider splitting the material into two meetings. See my Scientist Activity Badge page for additional information about how to cover these requirements.
If you don’t already have the BSA Webelos den meeting plans, download BSA Arrow of Light Meeting Plan 5 to follow along with this article.
Arrow of Light Den Meeting Plans: BSA Plans #5 - Scientist
Preparation and Before the Meeting
Arrange to meet at a location suitable for doing the various experiments and demonstrations. Most are not too messy, but there is water involved so be prepared for spills. Get your materials ready beforehand. Do a runthrough of each demonstration so you will know what to expect during the meeting.
See my gathering activities page for some ideas.
Hand out recognitions.
You will be working on Scientist requirements 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 11, and 12. Start with the first requirement:
Scientist Requirement 1: Read Bernoulli’s Principle. Show how it works.
The downloadable meeting plan gives several examples of how you can do this. For a more detailed explaination of the Magnetic Table Tennis Balls see my article Bernoulli’s Principle Demonstration.
Now do the second requirement:
Scientist Requirement 2: Read Pascal’s Law. Tell about some inventions that use Pascal’s law.
The meeting plan has several good examples.
Next do the third requirement:
Scientist Requirement 3: Read Newton’s first law of motion. Show in three different ways how inertia works.
There are examples of how to do this in the Webelos handbook and in the meeting plan. See my Inertia Demonstration article for a way to show three different ways with some coins and a cup.
For the fourth requirement, your Webelos must work on their Science Belt Loop:
Scientist Requirement 4: While you are a Webelos Scout, earn the Cub Scout Academics belt loop for Science.
The belt loop has three parts:
- Explain the scientific method to your adult partner.
- Use the scientific method in a simple science project. Explain the results to an adult.
- Visit a museum, a laboratory, an observatory, a zoo, an aquarium, or other facility that employs scientists. Talk to a scientist about his or her work.
See my article A Simple Explanation of the Scientific Method to help with the first requirement. I like to use the Ziploc Bag vs Pencil Experiment as a science project. The third part you will probably need to do at another time. Hopefully there are plenty of choices in your area of places you can visit. If one of the parents is a scientist and you can visit his or her work place, that might be fun.
Next up – the fifth, sixth, and seventh requirements. These can be done together.
Scientist Requirement 5: Show the effects of atmospheric pressure.
Scientist Requirement 6: Show the effects of air pressure.
Scientist Requirement 7: Show the effects of water pressure. This may be combined with atmospheric pressure or with air pressure.
See Air Pressure Demonstration for a really simple way to demonstrate air pressure and atomospheric pressure. Water pressure and atmospheric pressure can also be demonstrated with the Ziploc Bag vs Pencil Experiment .
Next use the demonstration in the meeting plan to do the ninth requirement:
Scientist Requirement 9: Explain what causes fog. Show how this works.
Now move on to center of gravity. The examples in the Webelos handbook are straightforward and easy to do.
Scientist Requirement 11: Explain how you use your center of gravity to keep your balance. Show three different balancing tricks.
Are you worn out yet? Finally, do some optical illusions.
Scientist Requirement 12: Show in three different ways how your eyes work together, and show what is meant by an optical illusion.
There are some easy examples in the Webelos handbook and in the meeting plan. Here are some other helpful links:
- What Are Optical Illusions?
- The Blind Spot and Optical Illusions
- Optical Illusions – Circles from Lines
After the Meeting
Have the Webelos help clean up the area and recruit some adult help for the next meeting.