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Composites Workforce, The Next Generation Outreach Through the Composite Materials Merit Badge


Title: Composites Workforce, The Next Generation Outreach Through the Composite Materials Merit Badge

Authors: David L. Stone and Melanie Violette

DOI: 10.33599/nasampe/s.19.1567

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.

References: 1. Sheridan, R., et al. “Road Mapping Workshop Report On Overcoming Barriers To Adoption Of Composites In Sustainable Infrastructure.” NIST Special Publication 1218. December 2017. 2. Milberg, Evan. “Beyond the Boomers.” September 1, 2018. 28 December 2018. <> 3. Facilitating Industry by Engineering, Roadmapping and Science (FIBERS) Consortium. “U.S. Composites Manufacturing Industry Technical Roadmap.” August 31, 2017 4. Composite Materials, Boy Scouts of America Merit Badge Series, 2006 5. Dorworth, Lou. “Abaris helps Boy Scouts earn Composite Materials Merit Badges.” May 8, 2014. March 6, 2018. <> 6. Dorworth, Lou. “Abaris Continues to Support Composite Materials Merit Badge Event.” November 10, 2014. March 6, 2018. <> 7. Dragone, Tom. “Merit Badge.” March 6, 2018, <>. 8. Barnard, Mike. “Composites Merit Badge.” March 6, 2018. <> 9. Wendell, Bryan. “New study shows 46 ways Eagle Scouts are different.” April 10, 2012. January 24, 2019. <> 10. Wendell, Bryan. “Ideas for teaching STEM-subject merit badges.” Scouting. May-June 2012. January 3, 2019, <> 11. Wendell, Bryan. “Presenting the 2017 Merit Badge Rankings: Which were the most and least popular?” February 14, 2018. December 28, 2018. <>

Conference: SAMPE 2019 - Charlotte, NC

Publication Date: 2019/05/20

SKU: TP19--1567

Pages: 15

Price: FREE

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