ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - Installation STEM professionals are needed for an October 15 Boy Scouts Merit Badge Day that will see more than 600 local Boy Scouts descend on Aberdeen Proving Ground.

The Team APG-hosted event will take place on the grounds of the APG museum where volunteers serving as counselors will help Scouts earn merit badges in one of 16 STEM-related fields.

Col. William Montgomery III, chief of staff of the Communications-Electronics Command and one of the event organizers, expects the installation's STEM professionals will reach out en masse to participate in the event.

He believes the volunteer hours they donate to this single event will open the riches of STEM to our youth in a unique and exciting way.

"This is really an ideal opportunity for adult professionals to teach and connect with youth from the community," said Montgomery. "These youth are the future scientists, engineers, and chief information officers.

STEM, which stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, are considered by many to be the foundation for academic and professional fields of an advanced society.

"In many forums, including political/governmental and academic--the strength of its STEM workforce is viewed as an indicator of a nation's ability to sustain itself," explained Montgomery.

"This event provides that connection that could lead to a career or interest in a field that would not have occurred otherwise," he said.

Millions of Boy Scouts worldwide have earned merit badges--an award presented to a Scout when he completes the requirements in one of over 100 subjects ranging from sports and crafts to science and future careers.

Deciding to engage its young members in science, technology, engineering and math, the Boy Scouts of America began emphasizing STEM disciplines this spring in its current advancement programs.

The 16 of 38 STEM-oriented merit badges that will be offered during the daylong event at APG are as follows: Architecture, Automotive Maintenance, Aviation, Chemistry, Composite Materials
Computers, Electronics, Engineering, Environmental Science, Metalwork, Nuclear Science, Radio, Robotics, Space Exploration, Veterinary Medicine, Weather

As Team APG continues to gear up for the daylong event, volunteers who wish to serve as merit badge counselors should contact the Garrison Operations leads John Kearney or Bill Babauta at (410) 652-0878.

"We know there are numerous professionals who serve the Army on APG who have this background and want to share their talent with youth," said Montgomery. "That's who we are urging to participate--adult volunteers in the expertise of any of the STEM merit badges we are offering," said Montgomery.

Montgomery, who was a Boy Scout from ages 8 to 18 and served as an adult leader for more than 20 years, said he is no stranger to the positive influence Boy Scouting events can have on a young life.

"A Scout will grow and gain confidence through exposure to quality adults who serve as positive role models and mentor him," said Montgomery. "The merit badge is only a small piece of khaki cloth with a design embroidered in color, but its significance sets the foundation to inspire a boy for life."

Page last updated Tue September 27th, 2011 at 14:54