STEM Lab makes Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Front and Center
The NOAC Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Lab showcased several STEM areas to bring Arrowmen to experience STEM. The Lab focused on several areas: Robotics, Underwater Exploration, Mind Games, Composites, Food Science, and NOAC Science Fair. The Lab is part of a larger BSA initiative to teach, inspire, and bring greater awareness of science and technology to scouts, and for them to explore the STEM discipline. The BSA NOVA and SuperNOVA Awards program incorporates learning cool activities and bring greater exposure of science, technology, engineering and mathematics to Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturers. 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.The STEM Lab is the Order’s contribution to to the NOVA initiative to Arrowmen. Arrowmen were asked to provide their STEM ideas and experiments for the STEM Lab at NOAC 2018.
At the Underwater Exploration area, Arrowmen were able to interact, in real-time, with a submarine that travels on the seafloor off the California coast all the way up to Canada. Arrowmen were able to communicate with the submarine while exploring the seafloor features and scientific experiments.
In another area, Arrowmen explored with the effects of liquid nitrogen on solid objects, such as plastic toys. Plastic toys are placed in liquid nitrogen for a few seconds and then are mashed by Arrowmen due to change in . In another experiment, a ballon is filled with area and placed in liquid nitrogren. Arrowmen observe that the ballon shrinks due to the rapid change of air pressure due to the extreme cold of the liquid nitrogen and affects on the air within the ballon. Arrowmen also learned how to mix two chemical compounds and create solid composites molded to neckerchiefs.
The Food Science area asked Arrowmen to sample 5 different water-sugar concentration drinks, and were able to identify which one of the samples contained the least and most concentrations of sugar, and which they thought was “sweet”. Based on preliminary responses, the data seems to suggest that individuals from different regions of the nation have different taste buds and different identifications of what “sweet” tastes like.
One of the coolest areas was the mind game exhibit, where Arrowmen battled mind over matter to control robots with simply their brain waves. Additionally, Arrowmen remotely controlled robots to stack blocks. The Science Fair exhibits were also being judged for the science fair contest. Lectures and demonstrations were presented by MSU Professors researching mind robots as well as other scientists present their findings to Arrowmen.