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Does the Project Management Merit Badge Have Merit?

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An elderly citizen needs help crossing the street. Develop a time and cost estimate for this task and calculate the earned value of your progress as you cross the road.

Sorry, I couldn't resist. But it is true that the Boy and Girl Scouts of the United States are considering adding a project-management Merit Badge. The PMI Educational Foundation (PMIEF) is looking for volunteers to help with this. In particular, they would like you or your children to share ideas that help demonstrate why a project-management Merit Badge is "a fun, engaging, exciting, age appropriate concept for youth."

I'm sure some of you reading this are thinking that project management isn't a fun or exciting concept for adults, much less youth. I'm not sure if when I was a boy scout I'd have chosen a project-management badge over, say, fishingrifle shooting, or tracking. But the teamwork, communication, and planning skills that a well-designed program could provide would create a valuable learning experience and allow kids to obtain skills that will be widely applicable throughout their lives. 

There is already a Merit Badge for law, so with the addition of a project-management merit badge perhaps legal-project management will be second-nature for future lawyers who achieved their law and project management Merit Badges in the Scouts. 

What do you think? Is the project-management Merit Badge a good idea? What should the requirements for the badge be? How would you make project management fun and exciting for young boys and girls? Do you have any design ideas for the badge (a triangle for the "triple contraints" comes to mind, but triangles are already used on the dentistry, drafting, cycling badges; hmm, maybe a GANTT chart...). Share your thoughts in the comments and send your ideas to the PMIEF. The official PMI announcement is copied below.

Calling All Scouters -- Would You Like to See a Project Management Badge for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts?

The PMI Educational Foundation (PMIEF), a charitable nonprofit organization, is working with volunteers to develop a project management badge for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in the United States.

We know that Scouting is near and dear to a number of PMI members who also wish to see the creation of a project management badge.  Currently, we are further along in the application process for a Merit Badge with the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America, which has modified their application process. 

One of the evaluation criteria includes a youth evaluation team, which reviews new badge requests and rates them on their youth appeal.  If this team does not feel this is a compelling or exciting badge, it does not receive approval.

This is where we need your help. We welcome ideas from you or your children that can help us demonstrate why a project management badge is a fun, engaging, exciting, age appropriate concept for youth.

Please help us make this a success.  If you have any suggestions or ideas, please email pmief@pmi.org.

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I am a big fan of project-based education. It turns students into problem solvers. The sense of accomplishment in completing a project, reaching a distinct goal, is far greater than that provided by doing well on a quiz. The planning and time-managemen... Read More

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This page contains a single entry by Paul C. Easton published on May 24, 2010 10:00 PM.

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