The Greater Alabama Council is excited to share that we are a pilot Council for the BSA’s newest initiative: STEM Scouts & STEM Exploring. These 2 new program will become official BSA programs in 2021. As a pilot Council we can start new STEM Labs in any part of our Council for those who are interested.
STEM Scouts – will be a BSA traditional program that utilizes the Scout Oath and Law. This is a coed program for youth in 1st through 8th grade and operated during a 22 week period, typically following the school year. There is also a 12 week program option. STEM Scouts meet in groups called Labs that normally consist of between 8 to 16 youth participants. They work with Lab Managers (Parents) and STEM professionals to do fun, hands-on experiments that teach STEM-related concepts and show how STEM knowledge is used both in everyday life and in the professional world. The Lab receives a monthly kit, mailed directly from National Supply, that provides the lesson plans, experiments, safety supplies, and items needed to provide this amazing program.
STEM Scouts have the opportunity to develop their skills in leadership, communication, creative problem-solving, teamwork and research. The program is different from traditional scouting in that outdoor activities are only a portion of the activities and not the main focus. STEM Scouts go on field trips and have the opportunity to work directly with STEM professionals. Individual labs are supervised by adult volunteers, some of whom are parents and many of whom work in STEM fields. Each unit has at least one female and one male volunteer. The STEM professionals help students understand research methods, STEM concepts, and STEM careers. All volunteers must be at least 21 years old, undergo a criminal background check and complete BSA’s Youth Protection Training.
The cost is $200 yearly ($250 beginning August 2020), which includes the registration fee, eye protection, and core activity materials. Registration is entirely online, there is no paper registration options for this program.
If you or someone you know is interested in getting a STEM Lab started in your community, please contact our office or reach out to Nathan.Dutson@scouting.org.
STEM Exploring – will part of the Learning for Life – Exploring program and will utilizes it’s own aims, methods, & code. The STEM aspects of the program will be identical to STEM Scouts. STEM Exploring is often school-sponsored. The Lab kits, as mentioned above, are mailed directly to the school and the program is run by the teachers or the guidance counselor. If your School District is interested in utilizing this program to forward your aims and objectives as they relate to Character Development and STEM, please reach out to Billy Curtis – Exploring Director 205-969-4277.