SOURCE: Lemelson-MIT Program

Boy Scouts of America

Lemelson-MIT Program

June 17, 2010 12:50 ET

Boy Scouts of America® and Lemelson-MIT Program Introduce Inventing Merit Badge

Merit Badge Will Help Scouts Understand the Power of Creativity and Invention

CAMBRIDGE, MA--(Marketwire - June 17, 2010) - The Boy Scouts of America (BSA), in partnership with the Lemelson-MIT Program, today announced the introduction of the Inventing merit badge, designed to encourage Scouts to be inventive and solve real-world problems. The new merit badge will provide Boy Scouts with an understanding of the impact and importance of inventive thinking and doing.

"Throughout the Boy Scouts of America's rich, 100-year history, merit badges have given Scouts an opportunity to experience and learn about a variety of hobbies and professions. We are very excited about the Inventing merit badge and what the future holds as Scouts use the tools learned while working on the requirements to help make the world a better place," said Robert J. Mazzuca, Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America. "The Boy Scouts are extremely fortunate to partner with the Lemelson-MIT Program in the development of this merit badge. Their hands-on approach to learning, combined with their InvenTeam grants initiative, will continue to inspire youth to lead creative lives through inventing."

The Inventing merit badge will be awarded for the first time Thursday, June 17, at EurekaFest, the Lemelson-MIT Program's annual event at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that celebrates the inventive spirit. As part of the formal awards ceremony, commemorative Inventing merit badges will be presented to several Distinguished Eagle Scouts, all inventors associated with MIT, including:

  • Kim Vandiver, dean for undergraduate research and professor of mechanical and oceanic engineering at MIT;
  • Edward Crawley, the Ford Professor of Engineering at MIT; and
  • Elmer C. "Neil" Lupton, president and CEO of NEMOmetrics Corporation and vice president of the BSA's Boston Minuteman Council.

These honorees are exemplary role models who inspire today's youth by setting an example of how inventive thinking can solve a problem and have an impact on the world. Scouts who have earned the Inventing merit badge from councils local to MIT will be honored at the ceremony as well. 

"Scouts represent a new generation of inventors, and we're honored that they are embracing the significance of inventing," says Leigh Estabrooks, invention education officer of the Lemelson-MIT Program. "It's crucial that we empower our nation's youth to explore their ideas that can have an impact on their community. The technical skills and discovery process that come with earning this merit badge will teach them that they can invent solutions for today's problems. Their solutions may help people live healthier, more productive, and more engaging lives."

"My experience in both my Eagle Scout and InvenTeam projects have helped me realize that I will not be satisfied with a career unless it allows me to help others," said Harris Ramm, a 2010 Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam member from Omaha Benson High School and Eagle Scout from Troop 558 in Nebraska. "My Boy Scout experience instilled in me a strong desire to serve my community, my country, and the world. My experience on an InvenTeam has shown me a path to that goal. Engineering and inventing are excellent ways to improve the lives of others. A single invention can change the world, and that is what I hope to do." 

About the Lemelson-MIT Program
Celebrating innovation, inspiring youth

The Lemelson-MIT Program recognizes the outstanding inventors and innovators transforming our world, and inspires young people to pursue creative lives and careers through innovation.

Jerome H. Lemelson, one of U.S. history's most prolific inventors, and his wife, Dorothy, founded the Lemelson-MIT Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994. It is funded by The Lemelson Foundation and administered by the School of Engineering. The foundation sparks, sustains, and celebrates innovation and the inventive spirit. It supports projects in the United States and developing countries that nurture innovators and unleash invention to advance economic, social, and environmentally sustainable development. To date, The Lemelson Foundation has donated or committed more than $150 million in support of its mission. For more information about the Lemelson-MIT Program, visit http://web.mit.edu/invent.

About the Boy Scouts of America

The Boy Scouts of America is the nation's foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. The Scouting organization is composed of 2.7 million youth members between the ages of 7 and 20, 1.1 million volunteers, and nearly 300 local councils throughout the United States and its territories. For more information on the Boy Scouts of America, please visit www.scouting.org.

More information about 100 Years of Scouting can be found at www.scouting.org/100years.

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