Boy Scouts Not Just about Campfires Anymore

June 28, 2011

Going through my mailbox this morning, I found my daily dose of Sustainable Plant (you do subscribe, don't you? If not, why not? There's lots of good stuff there). Anyway, one of the lead stories was written by my colleague, Aaron Hand, the managing editor of Control Design. He's talking about the latest merit badge from the Boy Scouts of America--the one in robotics.

Going through my mailbox this morning, I found my daily dose of Sustainable Plant (you do subscribe, don't you? If not, why not? There's lots of good stuff there). Anyway, one of the lead stories was written by my colleague, Aaron Hand, the managing editor of Control Design. He's talking about the latest merit badge from the Boy Scouts of America--the one in robotics. Read "Building the Perfect Roboticist" here.

Why is this important, and what does it have to do with sustainability. Well, it's important because finally, finally, people besides a few true believers are realizing that we really do have to get the kids interested in making things again if we're going to right the economic ship. (I know. I know. It's going to take more than getting kids excited about math and science, but none of the other necessary steps are going to matter much if we raise a couple of generation of folks who don't see the point in making anything, much less have any idea how to do it.)

And what it has to do with sustainability is this: Part of sustainability is wisely using the resources we have at our disposal (in this case lots of bright kids who need only encouragement and mentoring) to preserve the essential skills we have and to develop new ones. Growing a whole generation that isn't qualified to make anything but cappuccino at the local coffee shop is really really wasteful--at least as wasteful as dumping all those plastic water bottles into landfills.

Good on the Boy Scouts and all the other folk working in the trenches to point kids in the direction of manufacturing. i

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