Rube Goldberg was a cartoonist and engineer who drew elaborate contraptions to accomplish simple tasks. This article from TinkerLab gives step-by-step details for creating a Rube Goldberg machine.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)
This kit can be used to create a working robot. The robot is a crab which will walk around under it’s own power and avoid obstacles.
This article shows how to make a rekenrek using foam board, pony beads, and pipe cleaners. A rekenrek is a visual tool to help children learn how to add and subtract via fives and tens.
This project uses circles to create window hangings. All you need is card stock, cardboard, scissors, and contact paper. And maybe some circular items for tracing.
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.
Make pinhole planetariums to fulfill Cub Scout Bear Elective 1b. This project involves hammers, nails, and flashlights, so it should be a hit with the Cub Scouts. Includes patterns for the pinholes.
When Scouts build a catapult, they can learn about physics and energy. An easy way to do this is with a small scale catapult.
An invisible ink demonstration will add fun to any Cub Scout meeting. If they haven’t seen this before, it will really get their attention. This would fit in with any science themed meeting or a communications themed meeting.
Catapult Cruzers recently sent me a couple of samples to review. Catapult Cruzers are toy airplanes which you put together and launch. These planes would be great for Scouts of any age. See the article for information about a free giveaway.
My boys loved this book! It shows them how to make miniature catapults, bows, and other projectile machines out of common office supplies. This book would make a great basis for a open house or a just for a fun meeting.
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The NOVA Awards program combines knowledge of STEM concepts with hands on activities.
One of the requirements for Bear Elective 1: Space is to locate the North Star and two constellations in the night sky. This printable aid will help find it.
Webelos must learn about crystals to fulfill requirement 10 for the Webelos Scientist activity badge. I did this activity with DS, LC, and ZM when they were working on this badge. They really enjoyed it. When making the crystals, make sure they keep adding sugar until it really won’t dissolve anymore and it will be successful.
In an egg drop challenge, Scouts try to design a container which can prevent an egg from breaking when dropped. This is an excellent project to get kids interested in science and engineering.
One of the requirements for Geologist is to talk about how mountains are formed. This very simple demonstration shows how mountains are formed by tectonic plates coming together.
January 11 is Learn Your Name in Morse Code Day. This would be fun for any Scout. Wolf Cub Scouts could work on their Code of the Wolf adventure. Scouts BSA could start on the requirements for the Signs, Signals, and Codes merit badge. Any Scout or Scouter could try to earn the Morse Code Interpreter strip.
Bear Cub Scouts will learn about static electricity and buoyancy while working on the Super Science adventure. They will also investigate color-morphing and color-layering.
Scouts learn about ecology, pollution, endangered species, pollination by bees, and other environmental topics while working on the Environmental Science merit badge. They also study how parts of the ecosystem interact through repeated observation.
Webelos will learn about the scientific method while working on Adventures in Science. They can explore astronomy, simple physics, electricity, basic chemistry, and other topics. They also learn about doing science safely.
Scouts always enjoy playing with their food! This would make a nice snack for any den meeting based on one of the ecology lessons.
Tiger Cub Scouts learn about magic, science, secret codes, and other “mysteries” while working on the Curiosity, Intrigue, and Magical Mysteries adventure.
This science program feature offers the opportunity to plan a month’s worth of troop activities with a weather and energy theme.
Bear Cub Scouts learn about forces and movement while working on the Make It Move adventure. The investigate how simple machines like pulleys and levers work.
Wolf Cub Scouts learn about numbers, measuring, shapes, and math for the Code of the Wolf adventure. They also get to try sending a message using code.
July 20 is Moon Day. It commemorates the day the first man walked on the lunar surface. Celebrate Moon Day with some fun space themed activities.
Nova WILD! is the Cub Scout Nova Award for investigating nature and wildlife science. To earn this award, Cub Scouts explore topics such as wildlife, endangered species, invasive species, food chains, biodiversity, ecosystems, and habitats . They must also complete one of their adventures related to natural science or do a related investigation.
The Dr. Bernard Harris Supernova Award is the bronze (first) level Supernova Award for Scouts BSA. To earn this award, Scouts must earn three Nova awards, the Scholarship merit badge, and four Nova approved STEM related merit badges. They must also complete two Supernova activities.
Scouts learn about energy and conservation while working on the Energy merit badge. One practical aspect of the requirements is to conduct an energy audit at home and try to reduce energy over a two week period. Scouts also learn about renewable energy while working on this badge. Find requirements and check-off sheets here.
Down and Dirty is the Cub Scout Nova Award for investigating earth science. To earn this award, Cub Scouts explore topics such as weather, geology, volcanoes, or oceanography. They must also complete one of their adventures related to earth science or do a related investigation.
Science Everywhere is the Cub Scout Nova Award for investigating general science. To earn this award, Cub Scouts must complete one of their science related adventures, learn about the scientific method, and find out about career opportunities for scientists.