BSA has created updated versions of the Troop Program features for Scouts BSA. The Science program feature is available in digital format on the BSA website or can be purchased as a publication from you local Scout Shop.
The Science troop program feature encourages Scouts to ask and investigate questions about the world. They learn how to form a hypothesis and test it. The program feature includes some general information and some more specific ideas for meetings:
- Learn about chemistry, physics, or life science
- Investigate specialty areas in the world of science
Suggested troop meeting ideas are grouped by essential, challenging, or advanced. Here are a few you can see in the guide.
- Do basic investigations in chemistry, physics, and biology (essential)
- Do more advanced investigations (challenging)
- Do complex experiments and studies (advanced)
- Consider the principles involved in designing a base on Mars (essential)
- Design an investigation related to gravity (challenging)
- Debate competing scientific theories (advanced)
- Discuss examples of science vs science fiction (essential)
- Give examples of real science in science fiction (challenging)
- Explore the issues for a science consultant on a science fiction show (advanced)
There are also several games suggested to keep things interesting at your troop meetings
- Helium Stick
- Scout Stave Launcher
- Match the -ology
- Sci Fi Trivia
The plan even provides Scoutmaster’s minutes and ceremonies for meetings.
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.
- Visit a science museum (essential)
- Participate in a science fair (challenging)
- Assist in a research project at a local university or agency (advanced)
Find some related helps and achievements for the Science Troop Program Feature below.
Shoot! is the Scouts BSA Nova Award for investigating astronomy and projectile science. To earn this award, Scouts must complete one of their science related merit badges and learn about related topics such as space, aviation, and weather. Scouts also visit a museum or build a catapult, pitching machine, or marble run.
Let It Grow is the Scouts BSA Nova Award for investigating agriculture science. To earn this award, Scouts must complete one of the merit badges related to raising livestock or growing crops. Scouts will learn about where their food comes from and explore topics like weather, seeds, and microorganisms.
Splash! is the Scouts BSA Nova Award for investigating water science. To earn this award, Scouts must complete one of their science related merit badges and learn about related topics such as pollution, health, water cycle, and waste treatment. Scouts also learn how water is processed and consumed.
Mendel’s Minions is the Scouts BSA Nova Award for investigating genetic science. To earn this award, Scouts must complete one of their science related merit badges and learn about related topics such as DNA, inheritance, genetic diseases, genetically modified food, the Human Genome Project, and more.
If you don’t have a background in science, helping your Cub Scout out with this might seem a little intimidating. But the scientific method is really very basic and only involves a few simple concepts.
Nova Awards are the BSA Awards focused on STEM – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Working on the Soil and Water Conservation merit badge helps Scouts learn about things like erosion, watersheds, aquifers, water pollution, and water treatment. They also learn about the importance of plants in soil and water conservation.
Everyone familiar with the Star Trek series knows how much they like to beam people back and forth the transporter. Sing this song as a tribute to the series.
Nitro Transport is an initiative game. Its purpose is to get a group to work together to solve a problem. This should build teamwork and cooperation in the group.
Here is a brief Cubmaster minute to help Cub Scout understand why perseverance is important. It could also be used as a Scoutmaster minute.
Today’s youth must be familiar with the STEM areas – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – to be prepared for the world of tomorrow. BSA programs offer many opportunities for Scouts to experience STEM activities. The Nova awards for Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA (Boy Scouts), and Venturers allow for in depth studies of STEM fields. There are also opportunities for STEM learning in the achievements for each program.