Badge Support | Electronics and technology badges

Badge Support Electronics

Discover the world of engineering by planning electronic and technology badges into your Programme.

Technology is deeply embedded into our lifestyles and without engineers we wouldn’t have access to the appliances we rely on to do everyday tasks. To aid Scouts' understanding of how electronics work, there are a number of electronic and technology based badges you can plan into your Programme.

These badges give your young people hands-on engineering experience by giving them the opportunity to create their own electronic gadgets. The badge work also them a chance to come up with innovative ideas for new devices. Taking part in this process also helps Scouts to develop practical and problem-solving skills that are needed in the workplace. 

Help your young people understand the nuts and bolts of electronics by using the Scouts Electronics Badge Scout Pack. This pack was created in partnership with The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), one of the world’s leading engineering institutions. By partnering with the IET, The Scout Association is able to inspire Scouts across all sections to develop a love for engineering and technology.

The pack is brimming with information and activities for your young people to get stuck into. They meet each of the badge requirements of the Scouts Electronics Activity Badge – making it simple for your Scouts to achieve their badge. A Leaders’ pack is available to help you guide your Scouts as they complete their badge.

Explorers Scouts can also benefit from the pack by using it to achieve their Science and Technology Activity Badge. There are five different routes to obtaining this badge and in this case Explorers should choose Option 4: Electronics.

Doing these activity badges could lead your young people to stumble upon a new invention! Take, for example, 19-year-old Ann Makosinski whose interest in electronics led her to invent a hand powered flashlight.

Many of the activities in the pack require using craft knives and soldering irons. Before carrying out the tasks, familarise yourself with the safety considerations in the leaders pack. When going through the packs you may come across terminology you’ve never heard before. Wrap your head around these descriptions using this terminology guide.

Here are some fantastic activity ideas taken from the pack to help you plan your electronic and technology badge work. 

Scouts

Component recognition and matching game

To obtain their badge, Scouts need to be able to identify common electronic components. Play the component recognition and matching game to test your Scouts understanding of their functions. The aim of the game is to correctly match the flashcards of the component symbol with its photograph and description. Scouts should work in teams to complete this game, which is great for committing the terms to memory.

Light up greeting cards

Spend an evening with your Scouts making impressive light-up greeting cards. This simple, enjoyable activity encourages your Scouts to use their creative skills to make a unique card using a circuit they have designed. Show them this greeting card template to inspire their creativity. By taking part in this activity, Scouts learn how LEDs work and how to add switches to their circuits. 

Steady hand game

Your Scouts can accomplish making their own version of this classic game. The game requires the player to carefully guide a loop around a bendy wire without touching it. If the loop touches the wire, a buzzer will sound indicating to the player that they need to restart their turn.

When making this game, your Scouts will need to think about the shape and the length of the wire as well the size of the loop. This will determine the difficulty level. The project introduces Scouts to using capacitors within a circuit- this is the component that will act as the buzzer.

Steady Hand Game

Explorers

Bring It OHM!

Explorers also need to be able to demonstrate detailed knowledge of circuits, components and symbols used in electronics. Playing the game Bring It OHM! will help Explorers understand how resistors are labeled. This knowledge will come in useful when they begin to work on projects that require resistors.

Light up map

A light up map is another awesome camping gadget your Explorers can construct. The map works by pressing a button to light up locations using LEDs. To build their circuit, Explorers will need to use a terminal block and can either try their hand at soldering or using tape to ensure their circuit stays intact. The circuit will need to be tested as it is being built- putting the Explorers problem-solving skills into action.

Show and tell

To achieve their badge, Explorers will need to show and explain their project work to a group of young people. This group can be fellow Explorers or their friends outside of Scouting. They are not expected to instruct their peers on how to do the project, instead an adult should supervise the group. This is an opportunity for your Explorers to develop their public speaking abilities. 

Inside the Taking The Lead Youth Shaped Scouting In Practice resource is an activity that Explorers can use to sharpen their presentation skills. Give them a copy of the presenting skills activity to plan into their Programme.

Network

Network members can also achieve electronic themed badges. To achieve the Private Mobile Radios Virtual Badge and the Amateur Radio Virtual Badge members will need to take part in those activities. They can also use the opportunity to learn how to make their own radios.

FM transmitter

Making a FM transmitter is one way of learning how radio works. To create this, Network members should familarise themselves with the IET resource packs first. Then practice doing a few of the challenging projects before moving on to this activity.

Jamboree On The Air and Jamboree On The Internet (JOTA-JOTI) is a yearly event perfectly suited to this type of activity. Network members can think about running an event with Scouts and Explorers showing them how to make their own transmitter during JOTA-JOTI.

These badges are designed to be achievable to young people and should spark interest in electronics and technology.

If your young people enjoy doing these activities they may want to find out more about engineering. The IET are regularly present at large Scouting events like Wintercamp and can provide more guidance on how Scouts get involved in engineering.

Take a look at these websites for more information:

Guidance and inspiration for other technology badges:

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