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Baloo's Bugle


January 2004 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 10, Issue 6
February 2004 Theme

Webelos Engineer & Scholar
  Tiger Cub Achivement #





Technology Group

Baloo’s Archives

One of the great things about being a Webelos Leader is the opportunity to learn many things along with the boys.  Unless you are an engineer, there may be some knowledge to pick up with this activity badge to pass on to your

boys.  Recruit the help of a father who is an engineer.

One of the purposes of Cub Scouting is "fostering a sense of personal achievement by developing new interests and skills" in boys.  This activity badge probably does this more than any of the other badges.  Engineering is one of the most exacting of the professions and the badge includes projects that will give a boy an insight into some types of engineering.

Den Activities:

Arrange for boys to visit an engineer or surveyor in a municipal county office.  Plan for the boys to look through the surveyor's manual and read a rod.

Visit a construction site and see the plans which are being followed.

We visited the new Ranger’s House while it was under construction out at our Scout Camp.  Everyone was very eager to show it off to us.  Make sure you get permission before visiting any construction site. CD

Visit the County water works, TV or radio station.

Have someone explain how to read topographic maps.

Have a builder or carpenter show and explain a floor plan of a house.

Make a block and tackle.  Be sure to explain its purpose.

Make catapults and demonstrate them at pack meeting, shooting candies or marshmallows into the audience for distance.

Discuss property lines.  Have a surveyor show how property lines are determined and measured.

Discuss different types of engineers.  If one can visit your den, let him describe briefly what his duties are.

Have boys collect pictures of bridges and note the differences in construction.

Take a field trip to an operating draw bridge (ex.  St Croix River), ship loading operation or other large industrial operation involving large cranes or other lifting equipment.

Fields Of Engineering

Aeronautical Engineering:  Deals with the whole field of design, manufacture, maintenance, testing, and the use of aircraft both for civilian and military purposes.

Astronautical Engineering:  Closely related to aeronautics, but is concerned with the flight of vehicles in space, beyond the earth's atmosphere, and includes the study and development of rocket engines, artificial satellites, and spacecraft for the exploration of outer space.

Chemical Engineering:  Concerned with the design, construction, and management of factories in which the essential processes consist of chemical reactions.

Civil Engineering:  Perhaps the broadest of the engineering fields; deals with the creation, improvement, and protection of the communal environment; providing facilities for living, industry, and transportation, including large buildings, roads, bridges, canals, railroad lines, airports, harbors, and other constructions.

Electrical Engineering/Computer Science:  Divided broadly into the engineering of electrical power distribution systems, electrical machinery, and communication, information, and control systems.

Geological & Mining Engineering:  Includes activities related to the discovery and exploration of mineral deposits and the financing, construction, development, operation, recovery, processing, purification, and marketing of crude minerals and mineral products.

Industrial or Management Engineering:  Pertains to the efficient use of machinery, labor, and raw materials in industrial production.

Mechanical Engineering:  Broadly speaking, covers the design and operation of all types of machinery and small structures.

Safety Engineering:  Concerned with the prevention of accidents.

Sanitary Engineering:  A branch of civil engineering that has acquired the importance of a specialized field due to its great importance for a healthy environment, especially in dense urban population areas.

Some Engineering Functions

Research:  A search for new scientific knowledge, with the objective of applying it to solving problems.

Development:  Applied research which results in working model.

Design:  Conversion of developed ideas into economical, reliable, and producible plans of manufacture, use or construction.

Maintenance:  Plan and direct the methods of making the design and transforming it into a useful product.

Sales:  Define and explain the application of the product and the sale of it.

Management:  Administrate any or all of the engineers which perform the functions listed above and any other personnel required to perform the assigned task.

Field Trips

Adapted from Heart of America Council

1)       Visit (with permission) a housing project or a commercial building construction site, possibly in conjunction with a visit by an engineer as a guest speaker at your meeting.

2)       There are many big engineering structures around our country – dams, bridges, towers, sewerage plants, buildings, stadiums, power plants … Many times you can get an inside tour of these structures that would fascinate your Webelos.  However, I am not sure how many have stopped (Like the Delaware Memorial Bridge near me) after September 11.  Many times there are even visitor centers near the structures explaining how they were built. I never tire of seeing Hoover Dam constructed in 22 minutes on the screen in the museum in town.  The Corps of Engineers office at Clinton Lake, west of Lawrence, Kansas, has a display on the building of the dam at the lake and how a dam works. Maybe you could combine some of these trips with a fishing trip or nature hike at the lake made by the dam or a nearby state park.

3)       Bridge Tour:

Heart of America Council had a route for seeing various types of bridges in their area.  I am sure with a little work and a few phone calls you could come up with an itinerary for a bridge tour in and around your town. CD

For an idea the HOAC Route was -

a)       From the Heart of America bridge (Locust going north over the Missouri River), to the east you can see a classical suspension bridge carrying I-35. Also known as the Paseo bridge.

b)       West from the Heart of America bridge you can see two truss bridges of different design and then the Broadway bridge which is a suspension bridge suspended from arched girders.

c)       Further west, an arch bridge goes over 7th Street just north of I-35.

d)       The 12th Street bridge over the Kaw River is especially interesting. The first span as you proceed north is a plank bridge, the next three spans are classical cantilever, and the last is truss.

e)       Any number of pier type bridges can be seen in the area. The majority of the bridges used in the Interstate systems are of this type. Be sure to notice that while the bridges are pier type, the piers themselves are sometimes cantilevered from side to side across the roadway.

In my area we have

Classical suspension – Delaware Memorial, Walt Whitman, Ben Franklin, George Washington

The very first modern suspension bridge in the US is the Wiliamsburg Bridge in New York city.  It was 100 years old on December 19, 2003!!  CD

Cantilever – Delaware Route 1 over the C&D Canal, Commodore Barry Brige

Arch – I-95 over the Brandywine River

Steel Arch – Bayonne Bridge

In a 5 mile section of Delaware SR 1 between Smyrna and Dover in Kent County, Delaware, there are seven bridges.  Two bridges are dual, single-span steel beam bridges.  Three bridges are two-span, steel girder bridges.   The remaining two bridges are dual, multi-span, pre-stressed concrete girder bridges.  

I am sure, the more you look at the bridges around your area, the more you'll realize that there are few pure one-type bridges.  Most are bridges that incorporate several design types in one. For instance, many pier type bridges over the railroad tracks are arched to provide strength while conserving materials.

Be sure to check the web site list for bridge websites!  I have listed several cities that have web pages dedicated to showing off their bridges.  CD

Show How Electricity Comes to Our House


Circle Ten Council

Make a small scale electrical system


6 Volt Battery                        Wooden Dowels

Insulated wire                       2 - Milk Cartons

Small Light fixture


Model Elevator

Circle Ten Council

Nail Thread spools loosely to board, sip string over 1,2,3 and 4. Wind string several times around 2. Wind second string over 5 and 6 and attach weight for balance. Turn handle on 2 to move car up and down.






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