Scouting/BSA/Programming Merit Badge

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The requirements to this merit badge are copyrighted by the Boy Scouts of America. They are reproduced in part here under fair use as a resource for Scouts and Scouters to use in the earning and teaching of merit badges. The requirements published by the Boy Scouts of America should always be used over the list here. If in doubt about the accuracy of a requirement, consult your Merit Badge Counselor.
Reading this page does not satisfy any requirement for any merit badge. Per National regulations, the only person who may sign off on requirements is a Merit Badge Counselor, duly registered and authorized by the local Council. To obtain a list of registered Merit Badge Counselors, or to begin a Merit Badge, please contact your Scoutmaster or Council Service Center.
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Contents

Requirement 1Edit

Safety. Do the following:

A. Show your counselor your current, up-to-date Cyber Chip.
B. Discuss first aid and prevention for the types of injuries or illnesses that could occur during programming activities, including repetitive stress injuries and eyestrain.

Requirement 2Edit

History. Do the following:

A. Give a brief history of programming, including at least three milestones related to the advancement or development of programming.
B. Describe the evolution of programming methods and how they have improved over time.

Requirement 3Edit

General knowledge. Do the following:

A. Create a list of 10 popular programming languages in use today and describe which industry or industries they are primarily used in and why.
B. Describe three different programmed devices you rely on every day.

Requirement 4Edit

Intellectual property. Do the following:

A. Explain how software patents and copyrights protect a programmer.
B. Describe the difference between licensing and owning software.
C. Describe the differences between freeware, open source, and commercial software, and why it is important to respect the terms of use of each.

Requirement 5Edit

Projects. Do the following:

A. With your counselor’s approval, choose a sample program. Then, as a minimum, modify the code or add a function or subprogram to it. Debug and demonstrate the modified program to your counselor.
B. With your counselor’s approval, choose a second programming language and development environment, different from those used for requirement 5a and in a different industry from 5a. Then write, debug, and demonstrate a functioning program to your counselor, using that language and environment.
C. With your counselor’s approval, choose a third programming language and development environment, different from those used for requirements 5a and 5b and in a different industry from 5a or 5b. Then write, debug, and demonstrate a functioning program to your counselor, using that language and environment.
D. Explain how the programs you wrote for requirements 5a, 5b, and 5c process inputs, how they make decisions based on those inputs, and how they provide outputs based on the decision making.

Requirement 6Edit

Careers. Find out about three career opportunities in programming. Pick one and find out the education, training, and experience required. Discuss this with your counselor and explain why this career might be of interest to you.

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