Boy Scout Merit Badge
- 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.
- 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.
- 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."
- 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.
- 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
- Do any THREE of the following:
- Build an electroscope. Show how it works. Put a radiation source inside
it. Explain any difference seen.
- Make a simple Geiger counter. Tell the parts. Tell which types of
radiation the counter can spot. Tell how many counts per minute of what
radiation you have found in your home.
- Build a model of a reactor. Show the fuel, the control rods, the
shielding, the moderator, and any cooling material. Explain how a reactor
could be used to change nuclear into electrical energy or make things
- Use a Geiger counter and a radiation source. Show how the counts per
minute change as the source gets closer. Put three different kinds of
material between the source and the detector. Explain any differences in the
counts per minute. Tell which is the best to shield people from radiation
- Use fast-speed film and a radiation source. Show the principles of
autoradiography and radiography. Explain what happened to the films. Tell
how someone could use this in medicine, research, or industry.
- Using a Geiger counter (that you have built or borrowed), find a
radiation source that has been hidden under a covering. Find it in at least
three other places under the cover. Explain how someone could use this in
medicine, research, agriculture, or industry.
- Visit a place where X ray is used. Draw a floor plan of the room in
which it is used. Show where the unit, the person who runs it, and the
patient would be when it is used. Describe the radiation dangers from X ray.
- Make a cloud chamber. Show how it can be used to see the tracks caused
by radiation. Explain what is happening.
- Visit a place where radioisotopes are being used. Explain by drawing how
and why it is used.
- Get samples of irradiated seeds. Plant them. Plant a group of
nonirradiated seeds of the same kind. Grow both groups. List any
differences. Discuss what irradiation does to seeds.
BSA Advancement ID#: 24
Source: Boy Scout
Requirements, #33215E, revised 2002