Merit Badge Counselors
When your scout takes merit badge classes at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, he will be working with some of the most qualified Merit Badge Counselors available, utilizing resources from world class exhibit halls and getting hands-on with unique educational specimens.
The scouts@HMNS program works hard to find the best instructors – individuals who are not only experts in the subject matter, but also highly skilled at presenting the material to youths. Here are a few examples of the skilled instructors and unique experiences scouts have when they earn Merit Badges at HMNS.
Astronomy Merit Badge: the instructor for this badge holds a Bachelors degree in astronomy from MIT and a Master Degree in astrophysics from Rice University. He has been on staff with the Museum teaching students about the night sky for over 15 years.
Archaeology Merit Badge: Under the guidance of the Fort Bend Archeological Society, the Archeology Merit Badge class digs up artifacts from a house that burned down over a hundred years ago on the George Ranch Historical Park property.
Indian Lore Merit Badge: this badge is taught using the HMNS Hall of the Americas, one of the most extensive collections of North and South American artifact collections. The class has two instructors, one a Master Docent of the Hall of the Americas and the other a Ph.D. of Anthropology and instructor at Rice University.
Geology: this class was designed with assistance the Houston Geological Society, and is taught by Master’s Degree and Ph.D. level instructors. Scouts collect their own 45 million year old fossils at the most densely fossilized location in Texas.
Natural Science: each of these classes, including Environmental Science, Bird Study, Reptiles & Amphibian Study, and Insect Study, are taught by instructors with Bachelor’s Degrees in biology or environmental science and experience in field work.
In general, all classes have the benefit of exploring the world-class Exhibit Halls at HMNS. Whenever possible classes are taught in the halls to give the most hands-on experience possible. Many summer classes ride the light rail downtown to visit courtrooms and historic buildings. Scouts leave each class with at least one merit badge completion; during our summer scout program, they have the opportunity to earn up to three in a single week – including many that are Eagle-required.
Open Door Policy
You don’t need to take our word for it; our Scout Program has an open door policy. Parent and Leaders are encouraged to stay in the class to learn with the Scouts. Leaders are welcome to visit classes before Troop members register to meet the instructors and staff.