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SlowDerbyRacer

STEM/Nova - Best Practices & Ideas

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The other STEM related thread has devolved into a debate about the merits of a STEM program. It also centered on a pilot program run in Tennessee which is very different than the national program (www.scouting.org/stem). Hopefully this one can be a little more value added, focusing on how to make the most of the program as opposed to bashing it.

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Our pack just decided to embrace the STEM/Nova program and I’m the guy who gets to figure out how to integrate it into the group. My question for those who already do the program is what do you do that works well (or even poor) for the kids? And for those who don’t do STEM, or might still be thinking about it, what ideas might you have? Thought starter questions running through my head include:

 

-Do we try to integrate at the pack or den level (or both)? Maybe find a way to fit a STEM theme or take away into every pack meeting?

-Do we make it a pack/den thing or just allow the boys to pursue the awards in their own?

-When and how should the counselor/mentor meetings be held?

-How many counselors/mentors are in your pack?

-What STEM related projects, activities, or similar do you do at pack/den meetings?

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For cub scouts.. the big events are Getting your whitteling chip and the pine wood derby .

 

Pine wood derby. you can talk about potential vs kinetic energy. ojbjects that are in motion tend to stay in motion unless acted upon. (friction)

 

Whittleing chip. show a few different knives of different metals and discuss why they are diffent and what the purposes are. basic first aid and grems in a cut.!

 

Milk carton catapult: Ballistics you can at least show them a ballistic formula or table and use different projectiles and discuss why they are different:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trajectory_of_a_projectile

 

Video game belt loop. Have the cubs build a camp site in MINECRAFT.

 

Tour a science museum.

 

Local university astronomy clubs see if you can camp on campus.

 

You have to be trying not to talk about STEM IMHO.

 

 

 

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"How fire works" is both a practical and science topic. "Practical" because knowing some of the science is useful in knowing how to get a fire started.

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I do like the idea of keeping the outdoors as a method of Scouting and supplementing that method with the science behind it all. If you look at it that way, we've been practicing STEM for 100+ years already.

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I do like the idea of keeping the outdoors as a method of Scouting and supplementing that method with the science behind it all. If you look at it that way' date=' we've been practicing STEM for 100+ years already.[/quote']

 

Yes, the Coleman white gas lantern and camp stove were indeed "high tech" in their day, weren't they? One can only assume that they were, at roundtables in the 1940s and 1950s decried as two evil items which would prevent boys from learning basic scoutcraft.

 

There are some very good ideas for integrating technology in this and other threads. Keep them coming!

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Yes, the Coleman white gas lantern and camp stove were indeed "high tech" in their day, weren't they? One can only assume that they were, at roundtables in the 1940s and 1950s decried as two evil items which would prevent boys from learning basic scoutcraft.

 

There are some very good ideas for integrating technology in this and other threads. Keep them coming!

 

And since then, how many scouts are able to build and light a fire? Technology has its place, but just like how the motto of be prepared has devolved into bringing gear instead of knowing skills and being prepared to act, technology solutions should not replace basic scoutcraft. I would argue in many cases it has. The building and lighting a fire is but one example. How prepared is the scout when he doesn't have the latest gadget or it breaks, etc...

 

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