Working with the Lemelson-MIT program, The Boy Scouts of America are introducing a merit badge for Inventing. The requirements for obtaining the badge include defining the terms “invention,” “intellectual property” and “patent infringement,” explaining the components of a patent and the different types of patents available and building a prototype of a new invention. The full list of requirements is available here.
While I am obviously biased, I think this is a terrific opportunity to get children exited about inventions and the many rewarding careers with which they are associated. As noted by Lemelson-MIT Program invention education officer Leigh Estabrooks:
“It’s crucial that we empower our nation’s youth to explore their ideas that can have an impact on their community. The technical skills and discovery process that come with earning this merit badge will teach them that they can invent solutions for today’s problems. Their solutions may help people live healthier, more productive, and more engaging lives.”
In honor of this new merit badge, I will be posting additional information to assist Scouts in completing the first three Invention merit badge requirements.