TRC hosts Sioux District event

Monday, May 30, 2016

Sioux District Hackathon, a District STEM Merit Badge event, recently was held at Three Rivers College-Poplar Bluff as part of the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center for Boy Scouts ages 11-18 plus.

The event allowed registered eligible youth to work toward one merit badge from 9 until noon. After lunch, the scouts who finished with their Merit Badge Coursework were then able to participate in the final session.

"This last session was the creative design phase which will enable those kids to demonstrate what they have learned by being organized into teams to brainstorm a proposal for an original idea that would be useful," said Mike Dineen, Boy Scouts Sioux District Executive. "This is a truly remarkable, unique, and one of a kind opportunity not offered anywhere else to our scouts."

This was the first time for the event to be offered and Dineen said, This has not been done elsewhere with youth this young in this sector.

"This was truly a one of a kind event that took place right here in Poplar Bluff," Dineen said. "I am so glad our local youth had this opportunity and did not miss this great STEM opportunity. Our local scouts then conducted group presentations of four original idea proposals. An idea for small business development, invention patents, manufacturing composite materials, and digital education technology proposals. In that time we heard about how self-correcting materials using technology similar to memory foam could be a useful material for saving lives. We also heard about how a application can tailor learning styles to generate infidel learning solutions. In a third proposal, students discussed customized materials to create better recreational safety gear for sporting events. The fourth proposal, was a bidding service to use graphics and photos to bring about model building software to customize and generate home building contracts.

"I look forward to seeing how these young leaders choose to serve their communities today and they design our futures tomorrow," Dineen said. "Great job guys. I would like to offer special thanks to our Membership Chair Shannon Todd, Camping Chair Kyle Gillespie, Assistant Scoutmaster Brian Green, Randy Graves and our Merit Badge Counselors who were doubling with the event: Shannon Todd of Horner and Shiffrin who taught sustainability, Heather Carlton a professor at Three Rivers College who taught Programing, Kenrick Nobles of Stinson Press who taught Graphic Arts, and Brian Hicks and Jim Dow and Instructor at Three Rivers College."

"Great job Scouts this took place for the first time at the Sioux District "Hackathon" a STEM based Merit Badge University taking place at Three Rivers College," Dineen said.

During session A, youth participated in Sustainability, Graphic Arts, Robotic, Signs, Symbols and Codes, and Programming Merit Badges. In session B groups comprised of representatives from each Merit Badge to apply what they learned and to propose ideas would help fulfill the mission and values of Scouting using STEM based advances and technology. The goal was to fulfill a need, create a product, or discovered a new way of improving communities and the lives of others through their original and unique team based collaboration. They raced against the clock and 45 minutes to "mind-storm", organize, and formulate the ideas that they proposed. We are so proud of the brilliant young leaders of tomorrow who here locally are creating innovative solutions in the Sioux District. This will have a great impact on their development in bringing about solutions to larger problems as they grow older and stimulate teamwork based problem solving skills, attention to detail, project development, and creativity throughout the course of their lives.

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