Earlier this week, Bryan on Scouting wrote about the Top 5 merit badges for aspiring astronauts in his blog. He touched on some of the great accomplishments such as, "Since 1959, at least two-thirds of the pilots and scientists selected as astronauts were Scouts. What’s more, an astronomically high half of space shuttle missions (67 of 135) included at least one Eagle Scout. (See more stats about astronauts who were Scouts at this link.)"
In January of 2015, Chicago's Pathway to Adventure Council signed a Memorandum of Agreement with CASIS to facilitate the Space Station National Design Challenge in 2015/2016 (See more information about the new program here).
Actually, I believe its some of those great accomplishments by Scouts and Eagle Scouts in the stats listed above that helped us to cultivate a relationship with the staff of an amazing organization called CASIS, the Center for Advancement of Science in Space. In fact, I remember when Ken Shields, CASIS' Director of Flight Operations and Education was looking over our Astronauts and the BSA Fact Sheet and noticed that former astronaut and CASIS' President and Executive Director, Gregory H. Johnson is a proud Eagle Scout.
Coincidence? I think not. While Bryan makes good reference to the top 5 merit badges for an aspiring astronaut our new Space Station National Design Challenge will provide hands-on experience with an additional 14 merit badges such as Art (mission patch design), Chemistry, Communication (articles/newsletters getting the word out to the community, school), Composite materials, Computers/Digital Technology, Drafting, Electronics, Engineering, Graphic Arts (creating PowerPoint presentations/newsletter), Inventing, Moviemaking (create a video that chronicles the experiment/engineering design process), Photography (same as above), Programming, Plant Science, and Robotics.
The program is also open to girls through our Exploring Program! Learn more about being a mentor/facilitator for this once in a life-time opportunity or email Nancy.Elder@Scouting.org.
We believe it's program collaboration and partnerships like this that provide the opportunity to inspire Scouts and Explorers to reach for the stars! Please help us by sharing this opportunity with the kids and leaders in communities throughout Chicago.