These are the recently updated requirements for the Computers merit badge, as awarded by the Boy Scouts of America. I realize that they want to make it possible for anyone to earn a merit badge, but at least the Camping merit badge requires that you actually camp. I don't even want to tell you what the old requirements were... I'll sum it up in two words: punch cards. Maybe I'll node them when I find the old book. Without further ado...

  1. Give a short history of computers. Describe the major parts of a computer system. Give four different uses of computers.
  2. Do the following:
    1. Tell what a program is and how it is developed.
    2. Give three examples of programming languages and what types of programming they are used for.
    3. Describe a source program and an object program.
  3. Show how the following may be stored in computer memory: text, numbers, pictures, and sound.
  4. Do THREE of the following:
    1. Use a database manager to create a troop roster, providing name, rank, patrol, and telephone number of each Scout. Sort the register by rank, by patrol, and alphabetically by name.
    2. Use a spreadsheet program to develop a weekend campout food budget for your patrol.
    3. Use a word processor to write a letter to parents of your troop's Scouts, inviting them to a court of honor. Use the mail merge feature to make a personalized copy of the letter for each family.
    4. Use a computer graphics program to design and draw a camp-site plan for your troop.
  5. Do TWO of the following:
    1. Visit a business or industry that uses computers. Study what the computer accomplishes and be prepared to discuss what you observed.
    2. Use a computer attached to a local area network or equipped with a modem to connect to a computer network or bulletin-board service such as Prodigy, CompuServe, America Online. Send a message to someone on the network or download a program or file from the network.
    3. Use a general-purpose programming language to write a program application of your choice, subject to approval by your counselor.
  6. Be prepared to discuss several terms used in each of the following categories:
    1. Input/output devices
    2. Storage Media
    3. Memory
    4. Processors and co-processors
    5. Modems
    6. Networks
    7. Electronic Mail
    8. Robotics
  7. Be prepared to discuss various jobs in the computer field.
  8. Is it permissible to accept a free copy of a computer game or program from a friend? Why or why not?
  9. Describe several ways in which you and your family could use a personal computer other than for games and recreation.

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