It’s finally here! We’re on the eve of the 4th Annual STEM Merit Badge College and things are exciting! 350 Scouts will gather tomorrow at the STEM Early College on the campus of N.C. A&T State University to participate in nearly 20 STEM merit badge classes. This is our fourth time organizing this event and it is easily shaping up to be the best yet!
Scouts participating in the Aviation merit badge are not just working on a merit badge, they are getting a most amazing experience with some top flight (sorry for the pun) instructors! Captain Lori Cline is a veteran commercial pilot with over 35 years in the industry. Not only is she an awesome pilot and instructor, she is also a movie star! When US Airways flight 1549 landed in the Hudson River in 2009, Captain Cline was an integral part of the ensuing investigation. Not only that, she was in the movie “Sully” as a pilot and worked directly with Director Clint Eastwood to ensure accuracy in the film! Captain Cline will be working with 20 Scouts tomorrow to earn their merit badge which will not include a little classroom time but will also include building model planes, touring an air traffic control tower, flying in flight simulators and…wait for it…each Scout will also join a flight instructor for their own personal flying experience in a small plane!
At first glance, the Medicine merit badge requirements seem a little dry. It’s a lot of memorization of definitions and discussions. While all of that will be covered tomorrow, Scouts taking the Medicine merit badge are going to experience SO much more! Our lead instructor, Dr. Caroline Harstrom, is an anesthesiology resident at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. While planning the class, she knew that the Scouts would need much more than just definitions and book work. She has enlisted the help of other doctors, medical students and emergency medical technicians to provide a standard of care that is MUCH higher than expected. Scouts will be using real medical school equipment to learn how to apply sutures, intubate patients, start IVs, and give basic life support. Don’t be surprised if your Scout comes home tomorrow wanting to go to medical school!
That’s not all! The rest of the Scouts will spend the day designing video games, programming computers, building robots, soldering circuit boards, drawing house designs, surveying the land, and much much more! Be on the lookout for a lot of great pictures that will capture the excitement that STEM is bringing to Scouting!