Get to know the newest BSA program and find a laboratory near you.
Scouting isn’t just about being prepared for wilderness survival or knowing how to tie a bowline. Our job as volunteers is to prepare Scouts and Venturers for their futures as adults, which means empowering youth with knowledge and skills to help them find meaningful careers.
One sector of American jobs continues to demonstrate tremendous growth: careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). From 2008 to 2018, the U.S. Department of Commerce predicts STEM occupations will grow by 17 percent, compared to 9.8 percent growth in non-STEM occupations. The U.S. Department of Labor states 15 of the 20 fastest-growing occupations in 2014 required expertise in math or science.
In answer to this growing demand, the Boy Scouts of America this year introduced STEM Scouts, a pilot program that blends Scouting’s time-tested, character-building traits with hands-on STEM modules for boys and girls.
Yes, boys and girls. STEM Scouts is a coed program piloted in the Great Smoky Mountain Council that recently expanded to 12 more councils. (Find a full list below.)
Here Come the STEM Scouts
STEM Scouts are boys and girls in third through 12th grades who are grouped into laboratories (or labs) instead of packs, troops or crews. They meet weekly after school for hands-on activities organized into four- to six-week modules that cover a range of STEM topics during the course of the year.
STEM Scouts will take relevant field trips, interact weekly with STEM professionals and get a chance to publish their work through a peer-reviewed scientific journal — while having all kinds of fun.
Like STEM in traditional Scouting, STEM Scouts will team up with experts in STEM fields to make sure they’re getting the latest and greatest info. They’ll use the same Scout Oath and Scout Law as traditional Scouts. And their members count the same way toward Journey to Excellence (JTE) scores as Explorers.
If you know guys and girls who like experiments that are primarily “laboratory science,” tell them about the new STEM Scouts program. If they’re interested in outdoor activities with experiments that are primarily “kitchen science,” STEM programs in traditional Scouting have them covered.
STEM Scouts Councils
In April, the Boy Scouts of America announced it was expanding its pilot of STEM Scouts from the Great Smoky Mountain Council (Knoxville, Tenn.) to 12 more councils:
Capitol Area Council (Austin, Texas)
Catalina Council (Tucson, Ariz.)
Circle Ten Council (Dallas)
Connecticut Rivers Council (East Hartford, Conn.)
Crossroads of America Council (Indianapolis)
Denver Area Council
Garden State Council (Westampton Township, N.J.)
Greater St. Louis Area Council
Middle Tennessee Council (Nashville, Tenn.)
Pathway to Adventure Council (Chicago)
Sam Houston Area Council (Houston)
Samoset Council (Weston, Wis.)
To get the latest updates about when STEM Scouts might be coming to your council, click on stemscouts.org.