Boy Scout Atomic Energy Merit Badge
In 1963, the Boy Scouts of America approved this as the 104th in their
series of Merit Badges. The two booklets shown on the right provide the
scout with the necessary information to complete the badge's requirements.
The booklet on the right dates from 1965. It was produced under the
direction of Saul Harris of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and
Welfare, the same Saul Harris responsible for the "Save
a Roentgen" campaign. The booklet on the left is a 1991
printing of the 1983 revision.
The official requirements to receive the badge are as follows:
1. Tell the meaning of the following: alpha particle, atom, background radiation, beta particle, curie, fallout, half-life, ionization, isotope, neutron, neutron activation, nuclear energy, nuclear reactor, particle accelerator, radiation, radioactivity, roentgen, and X ray.2. Make three-dimensional models of the atoms of the three isotopes of hydrogen. Show neutrons, protons, and electrons. Use these models to explain the difference between atomic weight and number.
3. Make a drawing showing how nuclear fission happens. Label all details. Draw a second picture showing how a chain reaction could be started. Also show how it could be stopped. Show what is meant by a "critical mass."
4. Tell who five of the following people were. Explain what each of the five discovered in the field of atomic energy: Henri Becquerel, Niels Bohr, Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi, Otto Hahn, Ernest Lawrence, Lise Meitner, William Roentgen, and Sir Ernest Rutherford. Explain how any one person's discovery was related to one other person's work.
5. Draw and color the radiation hazard symbol. Explain where it should and should not be used. Tell why and how people must use radiation or radioactive materials carefully.
6. Do any THREE of the following:
The above requirements are essentially the same as the original ones. One minor difference is that the original requirements specified that the visits to the places where x-rays and radioisotopes were used was to be arranged with the assistance of the scout's merit badge counselor.
Copyright 1999, Oak Ridge Associated Universities