Science at Home: Science Scout Badges

by Katie Bowell, Curator of Cultural Interpretation

I wasn’t a Girl Scout for long. It’s a story for another day, but let’s just say that a disagreement about the amount of glitter appropriate for a elbow macaroni frame lead to me being asked to leave. Sigh – those leaders just didn’t have the sparkle vision I did.

The only thing I really remember from scouts (other than the Thin Mints, but who can ever forget those?) are the merit badges. I like the idea of merit badges – a way to show off what you’ve accomplished. In fact, I like merit badges so much I rather think they shouldn’t just be confined to the scouting organizations, but be available for a wider variety of disciplines and skills.

That’s why I was thrilled to learn about Science Scout Badges. These internet-based science badges were created by the University of British Columbia’s The Science Creative Quarterly as a way to identify and celebrate all the weird, slightly wacky, and remarkable things scientists learn to do.

Do you actually understand String Theory? Really understand it? Well, then there’s a badge for you:

"String Theory: I Sooo Get It" Badge

Ever licked a rock to tell if it was a fossil or not? Here’s your badge:

 

"Rock Licker" Badge

Are you super smart at math? Then you definitely need this badge:

 

"I Will Crush You With My Math Prowess" Badge

There are badges for every discipline: computer science, biology, chemistry, anatomy, rocket science, physics, and even a few for the social sciences. My personal favorite?

 

"Inordinately Fond of Invertebrates" Badge

Yep, that’s the one for me.

But even if you’re not a scientist, or don’t plan on becoming one, there’s still a badge for you. Introducing (drum roll, please), the Citizen Science Badge!

 

"Who Needs a Post-Graduate Degree? I Can Do Science...CITIZEN SCIENCE!" Badge

The great thing about Citizen Science is that anyone can do it. We showed you some video game-based Citizen Science projects last week and talked about the Great Backyard Bird Count in February, but those are only a few of the hundreds of Citizen Science projects you can participate in. And who knows, joining a Citizen Science project now may just change your mind about becoming a scientist later. And, if you do, there will be plenty of other Science Scouts Badges waiting for you.

The badges are all available for download, so go forth and festoon your website, Facebook, blog, Twitter, and any other media platforms you can think of. Be proud of being a scientist (even if you are a rock licker) and show off your skills to the world.

Are any of the Science Scout Badges appropriate for you?

 

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