Boy Scouts of America

The Kaleidoscope is proud to work with Boy Scouts of America providing STEM education through scouting!
We are excited and proud to be able to work with the Boy Scouts of America to offer merit badge and NOVA awards programs in Rolla!

The Boy Scouts of America’s merit badge program provides opportunities for youth to explore more than a hundred fields of skill and knowledge, plays a key role in the fulfillment of Scouting’s educational commitment.

The Boy Scouts of America’s NOVA Awards program incorporates learning with cool activities and exposure to science, technology, engineering and mathematics for Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturers. The hope is that the requirements and activities for earning these awards stimulates interest in STEM-related fields and shows how science, technology, engineering and mathematics apply to everyday living and the world around them.

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Rolla Merit Badge University

Registration To register, please download the 2018 Rolla MBU Registration form, fill in the required information, and return via mail to Rolla MBU 2018 at 612 N. Pine St., Rolla, MO 65401-3187.  You can now complete your payment online!

When Saturday, February 10, 2018 from 8:30AM to 4:00PM

Where Sign-in and assembly will be in the Leach Theatre of Castleman Hall, located on the NW corner of 10th and Main Street on the Missouri University of Science & Technology campus. Parking details will be forwarded to registered troops.

Cost $15 per scout if registered by Dec. 31st. $18 per scout if registered after Dec. 31st.  Fee includes a sandwich lunch, patches, merit badge cards and supplies needed for the classes.  Lunch options will be forwarded to registered troops.

You are now able to pay online!  If paying by check, checks should be made out to Ozark Trails Council BSA and should accompany the registration form. Paperwork must be received at the office by Jan 21st. We are not able to accept walk-ins.

Please note that Merit Badges for the Feburary MBU are closing. Please see below.

Additional Info 2018 MBU Announcement | Rolla S&T Campus Map

NOVA Awards Program

Only merit badges below highlighted in red and denoted with (NOVA) are available for the NOVA MBU Program.

Registration Registration will be opened in Spring 2018.  To register in the Spring, please download the NOVA 2018 Registration form, fill in the required information, and return via mail to NOVA MBU Kaleidoscope Discovery Center at 612 N. Pine St., Rolla, MO 65401-3187.

When Saturday, November 3, 2018 from 8:30AM to 4:00PM (Plan to arrive by 8AM)

Where Sign-in and assembly will be in the Toomey Hall, located in the middle of campus on the Missouri University of Science & Technology campus. Parking details will be forwarded to registered troops.

Cost $20 per scout if registered by Oct. 26th. $25 per scout if registered after Oct. 26th.  Fee includes sandwich lunch, merit badge cards and supplies needed for the classes.  Lunch options will be forwarded to registered troops.

Checks should be made out to Ozark Trails Council BSA and should accompany the registration form. Paperwork must be received at the office by October 21, 2018. We are not able to accept walk-ins.

Additional Info  NOVA 2017 Announcement – to be added in the spring| Updated Prerequisites for the 2018 NOVA MBU will be posted below on October 1st. The NOVA MBU is limited to the first 100 participants.  Tracks will be assigned by first paid registration.  The tracks and badges can not be mixed.

Merit Badge Information & Prerequisites

Merit Badges with a prerequisite are denoted with an asterisk.  Badges that are part of a NOVA track are denoted in red with (NOVA).


Earning the American Business merit badge can help Scouts learn practical business matters that will be useful throughout life. Learning how businesses function will help you understand society and uncover a number of career options.


  • #5 – Find out about three career opportunities in architecture. Pick one and find out the education, training, and experience required for this profession. Discuss this with your counselor, and explain why this profession might interest you


Architecture is not just the special buildings like cathedrals, museums, or sports stadiums we read about or see on television; it is as normal as the homes, places of worship, schools, and shopping malls where we live, worship, work, learn, and play every day. However, architecture is more than just common shelter; building has always satisfied the human need to create something of meaning. Even the simplest form of architecture is a work of art that requires thought and planning.

The Architecture merit badge was one of the original 57 merit badges issued by the Boy Scouts of America in 1911.


Must be 15 years or older


Modern automobiles are important to many aspects of American life. Those who service automobiles must understand each principle, and how these principles interact to provide smooth, efficient performance. Owners of cars also benefit by understanding how their vehicles operate. This enables them to understand why certain periodic maintenance is required to keep their vehicles in tip-top shape.



For most of history, people have dreamed of flying, imagining how it would feel to soar through the sky like an eagle or hover in midair like a hummingbird, to float on unseen currents, free of Earth’s constant tug, able to travel great distances and to rise above any obstacle. Today, through aviation, we can not only join the birds but also fly farther, faster, and higher than they ever could.


Chemistry explores how substances react with each other, how they change, how certain forces connect molecules, and how molecules are made are all parts of chemistry. Stretch your imagination to envision molecules that cannot be seen—but can be proven to exist—and you become a chemist.

The Chemistry merit badge was one of the original 57 merit badges issued by the Boy Scouts of America in 1911.


  • #3 (can be completed after the MBU) – Demonstrate to your counselor that you know each of the following. Then, using Scouting’s Teaching EDGE*, teach someone (preferably another Scout) who does not know how to play chess:
    • The name of each chess piece
    • How to set up a chessboard
    • How each chess piece moves, including castling and en passant captures


The USCF (United States Chess Federation) provided the primary contributing writers for the Merit Badge pamphlet. They will be helping to promote the badge through communications with the Chess delegate teams (similar to BSA’s National Committees and Boards) and e-mail blasts, plus website and “tournament news” announcements.


Coin collecting is one of the oldest of all hobbies. Hoards of ancient coins found in excavations indicate that coins were one of the first collectibles. From earliest times, people valued coins not only as a means of trading and storing wealth, but also as miniature works of art.


Composites can be found just about everywhere: in airplanes and sports cars, golf clubs and guitars, boats and baseball bats, bathtubs and circuit boards, and even bridges. Composites make bicycles and skis lighter, kayaks and canoes stronger, houses warmer, and helmets tougher.



TBD, troops will be notified by Oct 22nd


Technology has come a long way since Computers merit badge was first introduced in 1967. This badge will teach Scouts about technology in the digital age.


  • #2 – Complete an electrical home safety inspection of your home, using the checklist found in the Electricity merit badge pamphlet or one approved by your counselor. Discuss what you find with your counselor.
  • #8 – Make a floor plan wiring diagram of the lights, switches, and outlets for a room in your home. Show which fuse or circuit breaker protects each one.
  • #9a – Read an electric meter and, using your family’s electric bill, determine the energy cost from the meter readings


Electricity is a powerful and fascinating force of nature. As early as 600 BC, observers of the physical world suspected that electricity existed but did not have a name for it. In fact, real progress in unraveling the mystery of electricity has come only within the last 250 years.

The Electricity merit badge was one of the original 57 merit badges issued by the Boy Scouts of America in 1911. It replaced the 1910 Electrician “Badge of Merit.”


Electronics is the science that controls the behavior of electrons so that some type of useful function is performed. Today, electronics is a fast-changing and exciting field.


  • #4 – Visit with an engineer (who may be your counselor or parent) and do the following:
    • Discuss the work this engineer does and the tools the engineer uses.
    • Discuss with the engineer a current project and the engineer’s particular role in it.
    • Find out how the engineer’s work is done and how results are achieved.
    • Ask to see the reports that the engineer writes concerning the project.
    • Discuss with your counselor what you learned about engineering from this visit.


Engineers use both science and technology to turn ideas into reality, devising all sorts of things, ranging from a tiny, low-cost battery for your cell phone to a gigantic dam across the mighty Yangtze River in China.


By earning the Entrepreneurship merit badge, Scouts will learn about identifying opportunities, creating and evaluating business ideas, and exploring the feasibility (how doable it is) of an idea for a new business. They will also have the chance to fit everything together as they start and run their own business ventures.


  • #6a – Conduct a home safety survey with the help of an adult. Then do the following:
    • Draw a home fire-escape plan, create a home fire-drill schedule, and conduct a home fire drill.
  • #12 – Choose a fire safety–related career that interests you and describe the level of education required and responsibilities of a person in that position. Tell why this position interests you.


The ability to use fire safely is essential to human survival. By earning this merit badge, Scouts will learn to uses fire safely and responsibly, how to prevent home fires, and how to handle fire safely, as well as burn prevention, and camping safety.


First aid — caring for injured or ill persons until they can receive professional medical care — is an important skill for every Scout. With some knowledge of first aid, a Scout can provide immediate care and help to someone who is hurt or who becomes ill. First aid can help prevent infection and serious loss of blood. It could even save a limb or a life.

The First Aid merit badge was one of the original 57 merit badges issued by the Boy Scouts of America in 1911. It replaced the 1910 Ambulance “Badge of Merit”.

First Aid merit badge is an option for the National Outdoor Badge for Camping.


  • Bring a GPS.
  • #8 – Do ONE of the following:
    • If a Cache to Eagle ® series exists in your council, visit at least three of the locations in the series. Describe the projects that each cache you visit highlights, and explain how the Cache to Eagle ® program helps share our Scouting service with the public.
    • Create a Scouting-related Travel Bug ® that promotes one of the values of Scouting. “Release” your Travel Bug into a public geocache and, with your parent’s permission, monitor its progress at for 30 days. Keep a log, and share this with your counselor at the end of the 30-day period.
    • Set up and hide a public geocache, following the guidelines in the Geocaching merit badge pamphlet. Before doing so, share with your counselor a six-month maintenance plan for the geocache where you are personally responsible for the first three months. After setting up the geocache, with your parent’s permission, follow the logs online for 30 days and share them with your counselor.
    • Explain what Cache In Trash Out (CITO) means, and describe how you have practiced CITO at public geocaches or at a CITO event. Then, either create CITO containers to leave at public caches, or host a CITO event for your unit or for the public.
  • #9 (can be completed after the MBU) – Plan a geohunt for a youth group such as your troop or a neighboring pack, at school, or your place of worship. Choose a theme, set up a course with at least four waypoints, teach the players how to use a GPS unit, and play the game. Tell your counselor about your experience, and share the materials you used and developed for this event.


The word geocache is a combination of “geo,” which means “earth,” and “cache,” which means “a hiding place.” Geocaching describes a hiding place on planet Earth – a hiding place you can find using a GPS unit. A GPS (Global Positioning System) unit is an electronic tool that shows you where to go based on information it gets from satellites in space.

Geocaching merit badge is an option for the National Outdoor Badge for Hiking.


Geology is the study of Earth. It includes the study of materials that make up Earth, the processes that change it, and the history of how things happened, including human civilization, which depends on natural materials for existence.

Geology is one of the elective merit badges for the William T. Hornaday awards for Boy Scouts and Varsity Scouts.



TBD, troops will be notified by Oct 22nd


Inventing involves finding technological solutions to real-world problems. Inventors understand the importance of inventing to society because they creatively think of ways to improve the lives of others. Explore the world of inventing through this new merit badge, and discover your inner inventiveness.


  • #4 – Ask five people (not more than one from your immediate family) about the role of law enforcement officers in our society. Discuss their answers with them. Go to a law enforcement officer in your neighborhood and ask about his or her responsibilities and duties. Report your findings.
  • #7 – Arrange a visit with a lawyer who works for a business, bank, title company, or government agency. Find out his or her duties and responsibilities. Report what you have learned.


Earning this merit badge enables a Scout to learn about the history and kinds of laws, the purpose and methods of law enforcement, consumer protection agencies, emerging law, and careers in the legal profession.


  • Mature scouts only
  • #4 – Do ONE of the following:
    • Make an architectural model. Build a model of a house to a scale of 1⁄4″ = 1’0″ (50:1 metric). Discuss with your counselor the materials you intend to use, the amount of detail required, outside treatment (finish, shrubbery, walks, etc.), and color selections. After completing the model, present it to your counselor for approval.
    • Build a structural model. Construct a model showing corner construction of a wood-frame building to a scale of 11⁄2″ = 1’0″ (8:1 metric). All structures shown must be to scale. Cardboard or flat sheet wood stock may be used for sheeting or flooring on the model. Review with your counselor the problems you encountered in gathering the materials and supporting the structure. Be able to name the parts of the floor and wall frames, such as intermediate girder, joist, bridging, subfloor, sill, sole plate, stud, and rafter.
    • Make a process model. Build a model showing the plumbing system in your house. Show hot and cold water supply, all waste returns, and venting to a scale of 3⁄4″ = 1’0″ (15:1 metric). Talk to your counselor about how to begin this model, and present the scale and the materials you will use. After completion, present the model to your counselor, and be prepared to discuss any problems you had building this model.
    • Complete a mechanical model. Build a model of a mechanical device that uses at least two of the six simple machines. After completing the model, present it to your counselor. Be prepared to discuss materials used, the machine’s function, and any particular difficulty you might have encountered.
    • Make an industrial model. Build a model of an actual passenger-carrying vehicle to a scale of 1″ = 1’0″ or 1⁄2″ = 1’0″ (10:1 or 25:1 metric). Take the dimensions of the vehicle and record the important dimensions. Draw the top, front, rear, and sides of the vehicle to scale. From your plans, build a model of the vehicle and finish it in a craftsmanlike manner. Discuss with your counselor the most difficult part of completing the model.


Model making, the art of creating copies of objects that are either smaller or larger than the objects they represent, is not only an enjoyable and educational hobby: it is widely used in the professional world for such things as creating special effects for movies, developing plans for buildings, and designing automobiles and airplanes.


  • Bring a digital/video camera.


Moviemaking includes the fundamentals of producing motion pictures, including the use of effective light, accurate focus, careful composition (or arrangement), and appropriate camera movement to tell stories. In earning the badge, Scouts will also learn to develop a story and describe other pre- and post-production processes necessary for making a quality motion picture.


The history of music is rich and exciting. Through the ages, new music has been created by people who learned from tradition, then explored and innovated. All the great music has not yet been written. Today, the possibilities for creating new music are limitless.

The Music merit badge was one of the original 57 merit badges issued by the Boy Scouts of America in 1911. It replaced the 1910 Musician “Badge of Merit”.


Nuclear science gives us a simple explanation of the natural world. The ultimate goal of nuclear science is to find out if there is one fundamental rule that explains how matter and forces interact. Earning the Nuclear Science merit badge is a chance for Scouts to learn about this exciting field at the cutting edge of science today.

Nuclear Science is one of the elective merit badges for the William T. Hornaday awards for Boy Scouts and Varsity Scouts.


  • Bring a digital camera and USB cord.


Beyond capturing family memories, photography offers a chance to be creative. Many photographers use photography to express their creativity, using lighting, composition, depth, color, and content to make their photographs into more than snapshots. Good photographs tell us about a person, a news event, a product, a place, a scientific breakthrough, an endangered animal, or a time in history.

The Photography merit badge was one of the original 57 merit badges issued by the Boy Scouts of America in 1911.


Radio is a way to send information, or communications, from one place to another. Broadcasting includes both one-way radio (a person hears the information but can’t reply) as well as two-way radio (where the same person can both receive and send messages).



TBD, troops will be notified by Oct 22nd


By earning this badge, Scouts can learn about the history of railroading, its place in modern society, careers in railroading, and hobbies related to railroading.


  • Permission slip required


Unless a rifle is handled incorrectly or recklessly, it is not dangerous. A rifle, like any other precision instrument, is manufactured to perform a specific task and can do so at no risk to the user or others. By earning this badge, Scouts can develop their shooting skills while learning safe practices.


Earning the Robotics merit badge requires a Scout to understand how robots move (actuators), sense the environment (sensors), and understand what to do (programming); he should demonstrate robot design in building a robot. You should help ensure that the Scout has sufficiently explored the field of robotics to understand what it is about, and to discover whether this may be a field of interest for him as a career.

$50 equipment fee


  • This session of SCUBA will fulfill two of the requirements for competency. Full SCUBA certification is required to earn the BSA merit badge


Start with a dash of swimming skills (the Swimming merit badge). Add equal measures of aquatics first aid, safety, and conservation. Douse liberally with ADVENTURE!

Scuba Diving merit badge is an option for the National Outdoor Badge for Aquatics.


  • #2 – Design a collector’s card, with a picture on the front and information on the back, about your favorite space pioneer. Share your card and discuss four other space pioneers with your counselor.
  • #5 – Do TWO of the following:
    • Discuss with your counselor a robotic space exploration mission and a historic crewed mission. Tell about each mission’s major discoveries, its importance, and what was learned from it about the planets, moons, or regions of space explored.
    • Using magazine photographs, news clippings, and electronic articles (such as from the Internet), make a scrapbook about a current planetary mission.
    • Design a robotic mission to another planet or moon that will return samples of its surface to Earth. Name the planet or moon your spacecraft will visit. Show how your design will cope with the conditions of the planet’s or moon’s environment.
  • #7 – Design an inhabited base located within our solar system, such as Titan, asteroids, or other locations that humans might want to explore in person. Make drawings or a model of your base. In your design, consider and plan for the following:
    • Source of energy
    • How it will be constructed
    • Life-support system
    • Purpose and function


Space is mysterious. We explore space for many reasons, not least because we don’t know what is out there, it is vast, and humans are full of curiosity. Each time we send explorers into space, we learn something we didn’t know before. We discover a little more of what is there.


While earning the Theater merit badge, Scouts will learn to appreciate live performances as members of the audience as well as go behind the footlights to see the view from the other side. Much more goes on in theater than ever meets the audience’s eye.


Trucking is a large and important industry. No matter where you live, a day is unlikely to go by when you will not see a truck. We use these vehicles to deliver almost every material item we buy. Without trucks, our economy would not work efficiently.



  • Watch/Read 3 hours about an engineering field

The field of veterinary medicine in the 21st century is one of the most exciting medical professions in which to work. The skills of a veterinarian are practiced with cutting-edge technology and treatment options, and the profession offers a wide range of career choices.



TBD, troops will be notified by Oct 22nd


Coming Soon


  • Bring a sharp knife and your Totin’ Chip


As with any art, wood carving involves learning the basics of design, along with material selection and tools and techniques, as well as wood-carving safety. The requirements of the Wood Carving merit badge introduce Scouts to an enjoyable hobby and that can become a lifetime activity.