Title: Composites Workforce, The Next Generation Outreach Through the Composite Materials Merit Badge
Authors: David L. Stone and Melanie Violette
Abstract: Numerous industry reports show the need for more composite materials experts, both engineers and technicians, and recommend outreach to K-12 education. The Composite Materials Merit Badge from the Boy Scouts of America provides an opportunity to reach that future workforce. The merit badge provides an overview of composites including safety hazards, types of composites, resins and fibers, material properties, applications, a facility tour, and various careers. Two projects are required, one from the book and one that could be a neckerchief slide, hiking staff, or canoe paddle. 11-17 year old youth can use the merit badge to develop an interest leading to a career.
A major challenge to reach these youth is a lack of counselors to teach the merit badge. In 2017, composite materials was 130th out of 137 for the number of Scouts earning the merit badge. Scouting recognizes this is a barrier. However, becoming a counselor is straightforward. The merit badge provides a ready-made package to reach highly motivated students that can be recruited in the future. Scouting also provides a youth protection policy and training that companies can use to protect both the youth, the counselor and the organization.
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Conference: SAMPE 2019 - Charlotte, NC
Publication Date: 2019/05/20
Price: FREEGet This Paper