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Scientist Activity Badge

How to earn your badge

Choose from options 1 or 2, then complete all of the tasks under your chosen option.

Option 1

1. Explore and discuss the science behind two Scouting activities or hobbies. For example, you could investigate the science behind a perfect campfire, how a kayak stays afloat and travels through the water, or how a compass or GPS device works.

2. Complete one of these:
  • Plan and complete your own experiment to explore the science behind one Scouting activity or hobby. Record your findings and explain what these mean to others. Try thinking of a question you want to answer or something you want to prove.
  • Plan and run an activity, demonstration or presentation to help others understand the science behind a Scouting activity or hobby.
Option 2

1. Plan and complete three science experiments or activities. You could try making invisible ink, creating an eruption, designing a catapult or putting together a battery. Check your plan with an adult first, then for each experiment:
  • Change something about the experiment or activity and try it again, at least once. Predict what you think will happen and find out if you were right.
  • Show that you understand the science behind your experiment or activity.

2. Find out how one of your experiments or activities links to the real world. Then, explain it to others. For example, if you made a battery, what are batteries usually made from? If you created an eruption, how similar or different is this to how volcanoes erupt?

Guidance for leaders
This badge is designed to inspire Scouts’ curiosity and enjoyment of science, and for them to develop useful skills for future study or employment. Scouts can complete either badge option individually, in Patrols, or in other small groups.

Option 1
The activity that Scouts choose to investigate could be any activity completed as part of Scouting, such as archery, climbing or zip lining, or a hobby they do outside of Scouting, such as cooking, trampolining or swimming. When planning adventurous activities in the programme, remember to follow the rules and guidance at scouts.org.uk/a-z.

To find out about the science behind the activity, Scouts could do online research or speak to an expert (who could even be invited into the section). Depending on the activity, the expert could be someone from a university science department, a STEM Ambassador through STEM Learning, a science teacher, or a parent/carer linked to the Scout Group with a relevant career.
Some ideas are provided below:

If Scouts choose to do a presentation to share their knowledge with others, this could be in the form of a video or animation. This could tie in well with British Science Week in March.

For Scouts who would enjoy an extra challenge, they can gain a Discovery or Bronze CREST Award by completing this badge as a project of at least five or ten hours. Find out more at crestawards.org.

Option 2
Experiments can be completed as part of other activities in the programme (for example, making things that are useful for camp or on a hike); at a science-themed camp or event, or over a couple of sessions. Why not tie this in with British Science Week in March?

Scouts should take the lead in planning and carrying out their experiments. Why not see if there is a local STEM Ambassador through STEM Learning who can provide some support? Examples of experiments/activities that Scouts could carry out are provided below.

Activities provided by Rolls-Royce for the Cub Scientist Activity Badge can be adapted. These can be found at scouts.org.uk/rollsroyce.

Make sure that the experiments and activities that Scouts are doing are safe, particularly when it comes to making changes. Information about planning and assessing risk can be found at scouts.org.uk/safety.

Although not specifically used in the badge criteria, the following terms should be familiar to Scouts from school; ‘hypothesis’, meaning a prediction which can be tested, and ‘variable’, meaning something in an experiment that can be controlled or changed.

Scouts could share what they have discovered with their Patrol, their section, another section or Group, a leader or someone else. There are a number of ways they could share their learning, for example, doing a demonstration, presentation, running an activity or creating a video.

CREST Awards
CREST is a STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) enrichment programme and CREST Awards are well regarded by schools, employers and universities.While working towards option 1 of this badge, Scouts could complete a CREST Discovery or Bronze Award by completing a project of at least five or ten hours. Find out more at crestawards.org.

Each young person who participates in the Programme, including badges and awards, should face a similar degree of challenge, and requirements can be adapted according to each young person’s abilities. For more information and practical tips see our guidance on flexibility.


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