Boy Scouts in the US can earn a merit badge in oceanography
Through the help of Delaware Sea Grant Marine Education Specialist Chris Petrone, scouts get a glimpse into how oceanography and technology are used in the real world.
Most of Petrone’s marine education outreach is geared towards students in kindergarten through 12th grade, and the oceanography badge offers an experience that cannot be learned in a classroom.
"The Boy Scouts have a fair amount of information on land-based activities like camping, hiking and archery. But not many scouts, particularly those who live inland, get a good grasp on ocean content," said Petrone.
Specific activities include having Scouts deploy a real plankton net in the water and then create their own net with household items. They also use a “habitat cage” to collect various critters and later identify the species in the lab with microscopes, and finally, they tour the Lewes campus and meeting oceanography specialists and research scientists.
Boy Scouts obtain the badge by completing a required workbook and onsite training.
“The curriculum of the course is a combination of content and hands-on activities,” Petrone said. “In a classroom, the students focus on one subject, whereas the content for this course is very in depth - it is essentially Oceanography 101.”