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Is Electronics merit badge a prerequisite for Robotics?


This is a good question and one we discussed in our development group. Electronics is not likely to ever be a prerequisite for Robotics.

There are many robotics platforms that have lots of Black Boxes but are very easy to program and design with, LEGO Mindstorms and VEX for example. In the case of LEGO, a Scout would not need to know electronics.

Depending on the direction they take with their robot, Scouts could complete many of the requirements for the electronics merit badge and could do them both at the same time.

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  • Rick Tyler has been a Scouter for more than 10 years, in Tigers, Cubs, Scouts, and Venturing. As a youth he was a Cub Scout, Boy Scout, and lastly a member of an engineering Explorer Post where he built lasers and learned to program computers. After a career in the software industry, Rick now works for a not-for-profit that promotes science, technology, engineering and math education for young people. He is Advisor for Venturing Crew 2036, which builds robots for the VEX Robotics Competition. He has also been a mentor for FIRST Robotics Competition and FIRST Tech Challenge teams.

    Tarek Shraibati is a lifelong Scouter who has been active at both the unit and district levels. He teaches engineering in the College of Engineering and Computer Science at California State University, Northridge. He has also been active in the promotion of several youth robotics programs including the FIRST Robotics Competition, FIRST Tech Challenge and the VEX Robotics competition.

    Dr. Kenneth Berry is the Assistant Director to the University of Texas at Dallas Science and Engineering Education Center (SEEC). He has been an educator for over 20 years and has been investigating and promoting robotics in the classroom for over 10 years, dating back to when he worked at JPL, NASA’s Lead Center for the Robotic Exploration of Space. As Assistant Director to the SEEC, Dr. Berry is promoting Project Based Instruction with robots in classroom. He was a Cub Scout and earned his Arrow of Light. He continued on to Boy Scouts and earned his Eagle and two palms. He was Order of the Arrow, and he also served as a Ranger at Philmont Scout Ranch.