Engineering Troop Program Feature for Scouts BSA

The title "Engineering Program Feature" over a background of lightbulbs to represent creativity and problem solving.

BSA has created updated versions of the Troop Program features for Scouts BSA. The Engineering program feature is available in digital format on the BSA website or can be purchased as a publication from you local Scout Shop.

Engineering program ideas for Scouts BSA troops

The Engineering program feature teaches Scouts helps Scouts understand how problem solving and design can be used to help meet the challenges found in our society. These engineering program ideas include some general information and some more specific ideas for meetings:

  • Learn about different types of engineers
    • Chemical engineering
    • Mechanical engineering
    • Civil engineering
    • Electrical engineering
  • Explore sub-disciplines and specialties

Engineering program ideas: Troop meetings

Suggested troop meeting ideas are grouped by levels of essential, challenging, or advanced. Here are a few you can see in the guide.

Instruction: Essential

  • Build a water filtration system
  • Experiment with different materials to filter water
  • Learn how a water treatment facility cleans water
  • Make some goo
  • Discuss polymers
  • Build string telephones
  • Learn about flashlights by taking one apart
  • Make a homemade LED flashlight

Instruction: Challenging

  • Build a model dam
  • Learn how dams are used to provide water and electricity to communities
  • Build pop rockets and learn about the chemical reactions which power them
  • Design and build a Rube Goldberg machine
  • Take apart broken electronics to learn about the components
  • Try to diagnose a problem in an broken piece of electronic equipment

Instruction: Advanced

  • Build and test a small cable bridge
  • Discuss how the length and spacing of the cables affect the integrity of the bridge
  • Build a model rocket
  • Discuss the chemical reaction which powers a model rocket
  • Calculate the advantage of a pulley
  • Learn about levers
  • Make a homemade USB charger

Games and other resources

There are also several games suggested to keep things interesting at your troop meetings

  • Sky high
  • Parachute races
  • Geocache scavenger hunt
  • Balloon blowup

The plan even provides Scoutmaster’s minutes and ceremonies for meetings.

Main Event for the engineering program

Then there is the “Main Event”. Once again, there are suggestions for essential, challenging, or advanced. Details and planning aids can be found in the online guide.

  • Go on a day trip to an amusement park and try to find as many examples of the different disciplines of engineering (mechanical, chemical, electrical, and civil) as you can (essential)
  • Think of design improvements which could be made to the amusement park (challenging)
  • Visit an amusement park for a physics day and record observations and results (advanced)

Find some related helps and achievements for the Camping Troop Program Feature below. Also check my STEM page for more hands on ideas related to engineering.

Homemade Silly Putty Recipe

Having a science themed meeting with your Scouts? Instead of a craft, make up a batch of silly putty. This stuff is stretchy and fun to play with.

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