From welding and decoding encrypted messages, to robots tying knots, this year’s Jamboree offered some of the most intriguing STEM activities to thousands of its participants.
Teresa from Wisconsin said her favorite thing to do at Jamboree was the STEM activities, as she really enjoys science and math.
“It was a little bit scary at first, but it was a lot of fun!” Teresa said after welding for the first time. “Take your time and enjoy it, don’t be scared,” she advised other first-timers.
Captain Tyler Hoover from South Carolina came with the Civil Air Patrol, a nonprofit organization supporting STEM Education, to show Scouts some of their coolest STEM activities— including bottle rocket kits, flight simulators and RCC simulators. Hoover informed Scout troop leaders that they can even order more STEM kits (weather stations, drones, bottle rockets and flight simulators) to assemble with their troops. Boy Scouts can participate in Scouting and Aerospace education simultaneously. Scouts can sign up for a membership at the Aerospace website.
At another station, volunteers demonstrated liquid nitrogen explosions by filling bottles and then lowering them into a 55-gallon drum. The pressure builds up inside and causes the bottle to shoot liquid as high as 50ft into the air, acting like a huge, liquid-nitrogen-type geyser.
Many Scouts said that one of their favorite STEM activity was learning how to code and decode encrypted messages. One active duty medic from Ohio showed Scouts how to use GPS to locate the messages in the area and then decrypt them. Some Scouts were able to earn their Search and Rescue merit badge by decrypting and using GPS to navigate and locate the messages.
One of the most unique activities was using a robot to tie knots. The user placed their hand over a sensor which then sent UV rays to the hand and back to the machine in order to make a virtual hand. The robot can make a double overhand, a square or figure eight knot or even a sheet bend knot.
Overall, STEM activities at Jamboree 2017 were quite the success with the unique and fun learning activities!