Engineering Merit Badge

Click here for the official guidelines from the Boy Scouts of America for the Engineering Merit Badge.

Engineering comes in many forms. This can include the design of large buildings and structures as well as nanotechnology. Engineering produces useful tools in all kinds of sizes for all kinds of uses.

This badge requires you to select a manufactured item in your home. If you are building a self-watering container garden, then the manufactured item you select could be any number of things you use or have used with your garden. In fact, if you’ve followed our instructions and built a self-watering bucket container, then you have manufactured something and it can be your example. Information about what it is and how it works is included with our step-by-step instructions and video on how to build self-watering bucket containers, which can be found by clicking here.

Where this badge requires you to select an engineering achievement that has had a major impact on society, consider the impact had by the invention of terraced rice paddies in ancient China, the Philippines, and elsewhere in Asia as long as 2000 years ago. These monumental feats of engineering transformed thousands of square miles of mountainside throughout the southern, southeastern, and eastern regions of China and are still in use today. The engineering techniques used for traditional rice paddy terrace farming hasn’t changed since it began, uses no heavy equipment, and is highly successful; its success is why it has remain unchanged for 2000 years.

Rice terraces of Yuanyang, Yunnan, China

If you are doing a self-watering container project with a patrol, consider making an original design for a piece of patrol equipment that relates to your patrol’s gardening activities to satisfy one option for this badge. If you opt to make a simple model that demonstrates motion, consider building a scarecrow whose arms and/or head move to scare the birds. If you opt to conduct experiments converting energy, consider greenhouse and/or growing projects that examine how light can be converted to heat and used by plants to convert nutrients into food energy within growing plants (see our Energy Merit Badge page for more details).

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