Maryland Boy Scouts

Engineers use both science and technology to turn ideas into reality, devising all sorts of things, ranging from a tiny, low-cost battery for your cell phone to a gigantic dam across the mighty Yangtze River in China.

All the requirements for the Engineering Merit Badge are listed below. Here at Engineering4Kids, we would like you to work on one of these as an engineer would. This is our version of the systems engineering approach – Ask, Imagine, Plan, Create, Improve.

For requirement 5. Do ONE of the following: This a flexible “process” so it can be used for most engineering projects. Here are examples of the process for each of the options.

Plan a campout

5.a Use the systems engineering approach to make step-by-step plans for your next campout. List alternative ideas for such items as program schedule, campsites, transportation, and costs. Tell why you made the choices you did and what improvements were made. Follow the steps in the [/Engineering%20Design%20Process Engineering Design Process] to work out the details for your plan.

  • Ask (What? Ask questions, understand the need, identify the problem, define)
    Start with the “givens” – what has been determined already. The date and location may be pre-arranged. Parents usually provide transportation to the camp site.
    Q: What do you already know about the campout? How many people are going? Will you need to bring tents? Cooking equipment? Does anyone have special needs that you need to include in your planning?
  • Imagine (So what? Imagine, brainstorm, explore, discover)
    You are responsible for the organization so other people are depending on you to think of everything. Others will have ideas and suggestions.
    Q: What parts of the campout plan are up to you? What needs to be organized? What can you do this time that is special or different from previous campouts?
  • Plan (Now what? Plan, design)
    Lists are helpful to keep track of everything to be planned, purchased, transported and used. Lists from previous or similar campouts provide a good reference. Check that you included everything on the old list or know why you don’t need these items on your list.
    Q: Are all the activities covered? Have you included some extras to cover emergencies, bad weather, or other surprises?
  • Create (Do it. Create, try it out)
    From your plans and lists, get everything and everyone organized.
    Q: Have you done everything on your list? Have you added new items to your list as you learn about new requirements?
  • Improve (If this then what? Improve, make it better)

As you think of good ideas, add them to your list. You may not need them or be able to include them this time. But they will come in handy for the next trip you plan. You can share your ideas with the person planning the next campout.

  • Q: What would have been nice to have had? What did you not need or use?

Engineering vocabulary, concepts

  • organization, time management, checklists,

Show and Tell
Now it is your turn. Here are some challenges for you to work on…

  • create a standardized checklist for planning campouts. Get input from others who have planned campouts and who have been on campouts. Teach others to use the lists to organize campouts.

 

Patrol equipment design

5.b Make an original design for a piece of patrol equipment. Use the systems engineering approach to help you decide how it should work and look. Draw plans for it. Show the plans to your counselor, explain why you designed it the way you did, and explain how you would make it. Questions correspond to the steps in the [/Engineering%20Design%20Process Engineering Design Process].

  • Ask (What? Ask questions, understand the need, identify the problem, define)
    Start with a problem, especially something that you really wish you and your patrol have to deal with frequently. Try to be very specific about what the problem actually is.
    Q: What are some of the annoying things that happen to patrol equipment? Storage? Organization? Carrying?
  • Imagine (So what? Imagine, brainstorm, explore, discover)
    For this part, think of wild and crazy solutions. You don’t have to be able to actually make these, so come up with anything. Write these down as they may be useful later.
    Q: What if you could use really strong, light material? What if it didn’t have to worry about how much it cost?
  • Plan (Now what? Plan, design)
    Ok, now get back to what you might really be able to do.
    Q: Can you make a version of your crazy solutions that will actually do the job? Do you have enough information about the problem to design a solution? Will a different solution work?
  • Create (Do it. Create, try it out)
    Get the stuff you need together and make your design. Show that you understand the problem and all the requirements. Show how your solution works.
    Q: Can you make the real thing? Can you make a model or a diagram? Did you find any new problems as you build your solution or model?
  • Improve (If this then what? Improve, make it better)
    Your solution may work, but it could be better. Go back a step or 2 and see if there are ways to improve on your latest solution.
    Q: What parts of the problem have been solved? Are there other things that your design must include? Are there parts of your solution that are not necessary?

Engineering vocabulary, concepts

  • prototype, model, systems engineering, CAD

Show and Tell
Now it is your turn. Here are some challenges for you to work on…

  • make a model or drawing of your design. Keep old versions so you can show how your design changed during the process
  • create a presentation to describe the your ideas
  • find examples of similar solutions that are used for different situations

Learn more…

 

Engineering Merit Badge Requirements

http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/BoyScouts/AdvancementandAwards/MeritBadges/mb-ENGI.aspx

1. Select a manufactured item in your home (such as a toy or an appliance) and, under adult supervision and with the approval of your counselor, investigate how and why it works as it does. Find out what sort of engineering activities were needed to create it. Discuss with your counselor what you learned and how you got the information.

2. Select an engineering achievement that has had a major impact on society. Using resources such as the Internet (with your parent’s permission), books, and magazines, find out about the engineers who made this engineering feat possible, the special obstacles they had to overcome, and how this achievement has influenced the world today. Tell your counselor what you learned.

3. Explain the work of six types of engineers. Pick two of the six and explain how their work is related.

4. Visit with an engineer (who may be your counselor or parent) and do the following:

  • Discuss the work this engineer does and the tools the engineer uses.
  • Discuss with the engineer a current project and the engineer’s particular role in it.
  • Find out how the engineer’s work is done and how results are achieved.
  • Ask to see the reports that the engineer writes concerning the project.
  • Discuss with your counselor what you learned about engineering from this visit.

5. Do ONE of the following:

  • Use the systems engineering approach to make step-by-step plans for your next campout. List alternative ideas for such items as program schedule, campsites, transportation, and costs. Tell why you made the choices you did and what improvements were made.
  • Make an original design for a piece of patrol equipment. Use the systems engineering approach to help you decide how it should work and look. Draw plans for it. Show the plans to your counselor, explain why you designed it the way you did, and explain how you would make it.

6. Do TWO of the following:

  • Transforming motion. Using common materials or a construction set, make a simple model that will demonstrate motion. Explain how the model uses basic mechanical elements like levers and inclined planes to demonstrate motion. Describe an example where this mechanism is used in a real product.
  • Using electricity. Make a list of 10 electrical appliances in your home. Find out approximately how much electricity each uses in one month. Learn how 93 to find out the amount and cost of electricity used in your home during periods of light and heavy use. List five ways to conserve electricity.
  • Understanding electronics. Using an electronic device such as a mobile telephone or portable digital media player, find out how sound travels from one location to another. Explain how the device was designed for ease of use, function, and durability.
  • Using materials. Do experiments to show the differences in strength and heat conductivity in wood, metal, and plastic. Discuss with your counselor what you have learned.
  • Converting energy. Do an experiment to show how mechanical, heat, chemical, solar, and/or electrical energy may be converted from one or more types of energy to another. Explain your results. Describe to your counselor what energy is and how energy is converted and used in your surroundings.
  • Moving people. Find out the different ways people in your community get to work. Make a study of traffic flow (number of vehicles and relative speed) in both heavy and light traffic periods. Discuss with your counselor what might be improved to make it easier for people in your community to get where they need to go.
  • Building an engineering project. Enter a project in a science or engineering fair or similar competition. (This requirement may be met by participation on an engineering competition project team.) Discuss with your counselor what your project demonstrates, the kinds of questions visitors to the fair asked you, and how well you were able to answer their questions.

7. Explain what it means to be a registered Professional Engineer (P.E.). Name the types of engineering work for which registration is most important.

8. Study the Engineer’s Code of Ethics. Explain how it is like the Scout Oath and Scout Law.

9. Find out about three career opportunities in engineering. Pick one and research the education, training, and experience required for this profession. Discuss this with your counselor, and explain why this profession might interest you.