OK…Take a deep breath, focus – be the change you want to see in the world – So far we’ve made a soldering badge and a few thousand are out there, Mitch gives these away during his soldering workshops and we include these with the Adafruit toolkits + kit. We’ve developed an Arduino badge that we give away at special events and we have a few more planned. There are not any electronics related achievements that can be earned in the Girl Scouts at this time, we’d like to help fix that.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
My son is a cub scout, and he is 8. I have been teaching him to solder this year and he helped me put together my wave shield. Kids can do it. Sometimes he rushes a little, and gets a cold solder joint, but hey he’s doing it. There’s a great Lego like kit we got him from Radio Shack. He is learning, but more importantly, interested.
I have sent an email to the scout offices and asked for some sort of achievement award for electronics (or soldering). I have also asked for one for rocketry, something to promote re-using the parts from old stuff, and disc golf. But it turns out that there is one for disc golf, it’s just called ultimate. While not totally correct in naming, it rocks. But that’s a tad off topic then, isn’t it?
Any way for those already possessing equipment / skills to obtain these badges? 🙂
I’m a Cub Scout leader and have an 8 year old son in Cub Scouts. While I can appreciate what you’re trying to say in this post, you also have to consider some other perspectives.
First, remember that kids as young as 6 are in Cub Scouts (and programs for 5 year olds are being started). An important part of Scouting at this early age is to encourage a sense of accomplishment and pride in earning awards.
There are many different types of awards that can be earned by Cub Scouts, with requirements of varying degrees of difficulty. The belt loops are by far the easiest and are a great way for kids to get started. Earning a pin for the same subject area requires more time and effort. Just based on what I have seen, the younger Scouts are typically the ones earning the belt loops and pins. The older Scouts have earned most of them and have moved on to bigger more challenging things.
And beyond just age, you also have to consider that within Scouting (as well as everyday life) there are people of all skill and ability levels and there need to be awards that are within reach of everyone.
To be fair, when you quoted requirement #8 for the Video Games pin, you took the phrase “Choose a game you might like to purchase…” out of context. The complete requirement is “Choose a game you might like to purchase. Compare the price for this game at three different stores. Decide which store has the best deal. In your decision, be sure to consider things like the store return policy and manufacturer’s warranty.” The full context makes this a much different and more valuable requirement than you lead readers to believe.
All of that said, I agree that it would be great to see *additional* awards created that would acknowledge the skills required to *make* some of these things and not just encourage kids to become run-of-the-mill consumers. Heck, that’s part of the reason I’m here reading the Adafruit blog… because I want to start teaching my son (and younger daughter) to learn about how things work and ultimately to use that knowledge to dream and imagine and create amazing things. And because it’s fun!
Good work on the soldering and Arduino badges (which have the look of Boy Scout badges, not Cub Scout badges). Those are really cool!
Perhaps I should also mention that I do not speak for the Cub Scouts or the Boy Scouts of America or anything, I’m just a Dad and a volunteer leader, and the opinions expressed are my own.
@paul – thanks for the thoughtful comments, great stuff!
I was a cub scout! I really liked it. Well, until our den mother got arrested for selling drugs.
I guess each leader can pick what activities they can do each week? So it’s really up to the “den mother” – at least for us it was. Maybe the cub scouts have changes since then, but we actually built a crystal radio together one week! It was amazing! (and no – it wasn’t a “crystal meth” radio either if that’s what you were thinking)
Perhaps slightly off topic, but I thought I’d let you know anyway: my friend Jon recently wrote an embroidery extension for Inkscape. It allows you to easily export any Inkscape drawing (or any vector drawing you can import into Inkscape) into a standard embroidery format for use with automatic embroidery machines. You can find it here: http://www.jonh.net/~jonh/inkscape-embroidery/