SERC Environmental Science Scout Badge Workshop

SERC Environmental Science Scout Badge Workshop
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
647 Contees Wharf Rd.
Edgewater, MD 21037
(301) 238.2737
Welcome to SERC. We are a research branch of the Smithsonian and proud to offer a wide variety of
environmental education programs for scouts and the public. Listed below is a course description and a
registration form for our Environmental Science Badge Workshop.
Course Description
Scouts will complete their Environmental Science merit badge through
the activities of this course and work that they complete before arriving
on our campus (see pre-requisites).
Who can Participate?
All boys that are official members of the Boy Scouts of America or Girl
Scouts. Up to 18 Scouts.
Registration and
Contact Outreach Coordinator
4 Hour workshop
Minimum program fee of $300.00 for up to 12 students. For 13-18
scouts an additional $25 per scout.
Students must provide proof of completion of required sections to
program leader the date of the event, this may include building or
constructing a model or presentation.
Karen S. McDonald
Registration is online at and by mail-in only (attn:
Scout Program, PO Box 28 Edgewater, MD 21037). SERC accepts
checks (made out to SERC) or cash
Refunds are made only under emergency circumstance OR if there is
insufficient registration for the class. This assures adequate cost
coverage for our programs.
Plan to arrive 10 minutes early, late arrivals disrupt the workshop.
Students will get wet and dirty. Please wear old clothes and close-toed
shoes (hiking boots or shoes), no sandals or crocs.
Inclement Weather
Siblings are welcome on the SERC campus, but must be supervised
by an adult, separate from the Scout activity
Call (301) 238.2737 for a voice-mail recording regarding the status of
the class.
Contact Karen McDonald, Outreach Coordinator (301) 238.2737, with
any questions
SERC Environmental Science Merit Badge Pre-Requisites
For the completion of badge each scout must visit the website and down-load a paper
version of the Environmental Science Workbook specifically at:
After printing out the workbook the scout must then complete the following
sections BEFORE arriving for the workshop, so that the instructor may sign off on
#1. Make a timeline of the history of environmental science in America. Identify the contribution made by the
Boy Scouts of America to environmental science. Include dates, names of people, and important events.
#2. Define the following terms: Population, community, ecosystem, biosphere, symbiosis, niche, habitat,
conservation, threatened species, extinction, pollution prevention, brownfield, ozone, watershed, airshed,
nonpoint source, hybrid vehicle, fuel cell.
#3 C: complete either 1, 2, or 3.
#3 D: Bring a camera because we’ll do 3-D. Land Pollution number 3 (photograph and area affected by erosion)
#3 E: complete either 1, 2, or 3.
#5: Using the construction project provided or a plan you create on your own, identify the items that would need
to be included in an environmental impact statement for the project planned.
As a group, during the workshop we will be completing the following activities:
#2 A: Conduct an experiment illustrating the greenhouse effect. Keep a journal of your data and observations.
Discuss your conclusions with your counselor. We will be building a min-green house to observe evaporation
and precipitation.
# 3 B: Explain what is acid rain. In your explanation, tell how it affects plants and the environment and the steps
society can take to help reduce its effects. We will discuss acid rain as a group.
#3 D: Photograph an area affected by erosion. Share your photographs with your counselor and discuss why the
area has eroded and what might be done to help alleviate the erosion. We’ll include this part while going on a
walk to look at F #4. Please bring a camera.
#3 F: Choose two outdoor study areas that are very different from one another. For BOTH study areas we’ll do
a. Mark off a plot of 4 square yards in each study area and count the number of species found there. Estimate
how much space is occupied by each plant species and the type and number of non-plant species you find. We
will conduct these studies in an upland forest ecosystem and a lowland marsh ecosystem, all part of the same
#6: Find out about three career opportunities in environmental science. Pick one and find out the education,
training, and experience required for this profession. Discuss with your counselor, and explain why this
profession might interest you.