As the Boy Scouts of America has put increasing stress on the buzz-phrase “STEM” or “Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics,” more scouts and scouters are confused.
There is the old-line merit badges, belt loops, and activity pins that have been science-focused since the founding of BSA in 1910. There have been additions and subtractions throughout. Now that category of interests has been labeled as “STEM.” The relatively new STEM program in this category is the Nova and Supernova Program. So we have STEM in Scouting.
new units are organized into “Labs” instead of Packs, Troops, Crews, Teams, Ships, or Posts. They are mentored by scouters called “Lab Managers,” instead of Cubmasters, Scoutmaster, Advisors, etc. Some have lovingly referred to it as “Indoor Scouts.”
The differences between the two programs sometimes needs explaining. This month Scouting Magazine gives it a shot.
This confusion will increase as more of our youth discuss their interests in STEM. Learn the differences so that you can be a better mentor when the topic arises.