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Home»Programs»STEM Programs»STEM Resources For All

STEM Resources For All

STEM Program Director
Tom Kroenung

thomas.kroenung@scouting.org

314-256-3096

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BOYS' LIFE ROBOTICS RESOURCES

Boys' Life magazine has listed on its website various resources on Robotics and Robotics Merit Badge. You can find helpful information at these links:
 
 

ROBOTICS RESOURCES

For local robotics programs to experience at the Cub Scout and Boy Scout level, the FIRST program is a recommended option.   www.usfirst.org or at the local website www.stlfirst.org
 
FIRST stands for  For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.  The FIRST LEGO League (FLL) annually introduces students ages 9 to 14 (10 youth per team) to real-world engineering challenges by building LEGO-based robots to complete tasks on a thematic playing surface. FLL teams, guided by their imaginations and adult coaches, discover exciting career possibilities and, through the process, learn to make positive contributions to society.
 
Each year FLL releases a new "challenge" for teams. The Challenge is released in early September and focuses on a different scientific topic or question each year. You don’t need to wait until September to get started though. Knowing what to expect will help your team hit the ground running.  The challenge has three parts: the Robot Game, the Project, and the FLL Core Values.
 
In the Robot Game, the students build and program an autonomous (no remote control) LEGO MINDSTORMS® robot to score points by performing mission tasks.  These missions will be inspired by the Challenge theme.  Missions require the robot to navigate, capture, transport, or deliver objects on a printed mat (the Field).  The robot has 2 ½ minutes to complete as many missions as possible.
 
Through the Project, teams learn more about the science behind the Challenge theme. The students use their creativity to design a solution (or modify an existing solution) to solve a real-world problem.  Even though teams do not know the exact details of the Challenge, they can begin researching the theme as soon as it is announced.
 
Some our local Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts have experienced FLL and it is a great Pack or Troop project to take on.  FIRST also has Jr FLL for students age 6 to 9.   Similar to FLL but at a level more suited for younger Scouts. 
 
Local tournaments happen around the St. Louis area and the World Championship Festival has taken place at the Edward Jones Dome.    All FIRST events in the area are free to the public to view.  
 
Boy Scout Troops may also want to try out FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC).   FTC, for 14 to 18 year old youth,  is designed for those who want to compete head to head, using a sports model.  Teams of up to 10 students are responsible for designing, building, and programming their robots to compete in an alliance format against other teams. The robot kit is reusable from year-to-year and is programmed using a variety of languages. Teams, including coaches, mentors and volunteers, are required to develop strategy and build robots based on sound engineering principles.  Awards are given for the competition as for well as for community outreach, design, and other real-world accomplishments.   Start up team costs range from $1,200 to $1,300 for the first year and $400 to $500 for following years.  
 
FLL and FTC are great activities for your Pack or Troop to adopt and help your Scouts toward earning their Robotics Merit Badge.  If your unit is already involved with FIRST, please let Tom know at tkroenung@stlbsa.org 
 
The World Championships for all FIRST programs will happen in 2013 the weekend of April 25-27, Thursday thru Saturday, at the Edward Jones Dome.  It is free to public and make the most of this grand event to see robotics up close.   More detail on this event and FIRST programs can be found at this link:
 
 

St. LOUIS SCIENCE CENTER

As a unit, Boy and Cub Scouts of all ages will learn science and have fun while working to complete some or all of the requirements towards earning hard-to-get badges. 
Click here for a full list of Boy Scout programs at the Science Center.
To make reservations for any of these activities call 314.289.4439 or toll-free 800.456.SLSC, x4424.
 
 

Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts can participate in a wide range of activities including ones that will help them earn badges. Scouts will be able to do hands-on activities such as making and launching paper airplanes and gliders, building a model rocket, discovering Earth's satellites (man made and natural), and learning how astronauts travel to space and keep their bodies safe when they do space walks. 

Click here for the latest Scout programs  

Individual rates apply to public program dates. Group rates apply to private workshop reservations.
 
 

OTHER SUMMER OPPORTUNITIES

Maryville University - Robotics programs are offered during the last two weeks of July and into August.   These weeklong classes are available to youth age 5 to 15.  They are going fast on enrollment, and you can check the details at www.maryville.edu/robotics-courses.htm
 
Oak Hill School - SUMMER LEGO®ROBOTICS CAMPS 2013 for students ages 8-14. Classes run from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. each week and are held at Oak Hill–Villa school, 801 S Spoede Rd., St. Louis, MO 63131.
Six weeklong sessions are available to choose from between June 3 and July 12. Cost is $200 per week.
Participants will:
•    Design, build and program a LEGO® Mindstorms® robot
•    Receive an introduction to basic engineering skills in order to have a fully functioning, robust robot
•    Compete with their robot in daily missions to test their skills
For more info and how to enroll, contact Kathie Reuter, reuts@aol.com or 314-965-8432.