STEM University provides innovation for Scouts

By Portia Williams

November 17, 2013

Portia Williams

PDT Staff Writer

The Scout custom of equipping youth with skills to help them achieve their highest potential continued with the STEM University event held Saturday.

Vicky Hatcher, local coordinator of STEM University, said members of Simon Kenton Council are ecstatic about the STEM initiative.

“Simon Kenton Council, Boy Scouts of America launched a new national STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) initiative in 2012 and we are excited to offer this new program to the youth in Scioto County,” Hatcher said.

Hatcher said the Scouts also work at providing youth with a values-based, character-building education.

She said support from local entities made the STEM University possible.

“With support from the Scioto Foundation along with Portsmouth High School, STEM University had 70 Boy Scouts in grades 5 through 12 attended the event,” Hatcher said.

According to Hatcher, Scouts were able to work toward merit badges that revolve around all four aspects of the STEM initiative. The goal of the program is to give each youth an opportunity to expand their knowledge base in a fun and engaging environment while experiencing a unique event with a lasting impression.

Based on their personal interests, the youth were able to choose from a series of STEM-related merit badges including Personal Management presented by Fifth Third Bank; Game Design presented by Shawnee State University, Game Design Department while TSHD Architects presented Drafting; King’s Daughter Medical Center presented Medicine; and YEI Corp presented Robotics.

Qualified merit badge counselors from area institutions worked with those attending the event.

Through interactive, hands-on instruction, Scouts gained a better understanding of STEM-related topics and were encouraged to continue to pursue their interests in STEM once they complete their merit badge.

The various STEM based merit badges allow youth to sustain interest in STEM subject fields by creating activities that will leave long-lasting impressions.

Additionally, the program greatly enhances the core functions of the overall Scouting program and its benefits to the community.

The new STEM initiative of the BSA is designed to bring a Scouting focus to skills that are relevant and needed in our competitive world, increasing the value of Scouting to families and communities as it supports the development of these critical skills in our youth.

For more information on the Boy Scout program and the Simon Kenton Council, call the local Scout office at 740-354-2811 or visit their website at www.skcscouts.org.

Portia Williams may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 286 or portiawilliams@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Portia on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.