SIU professor creates Cub Scout badge - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

SIU professor creates Cub Scout badge

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CARBONDALE -- SIU math professor Wesley Calvert wasn't a Cub Scout growing up, but his kids are.  

"I got started working with the scouts, like a lot of people do I guess, and I found once working with them, they had this really, really neat vehicle to do math and science stuff with kids," Calvert said.

He's talking about the NOVA program, something the Boy Scouts of America started in 2012 to highlight science, technology, engineering and math; the STEM fields.

"And a lot of the science ones are really neat awards and I got to thinking, there really is a space there for better math awards then they have," Calvert said.

He met Lisa Balbes, a member of a national committee charged with reviewing proposals for certain awards, at SIU's annual Scout STEM event. A short time after that, the new badge was born.

Since kids will be awarded the badge based on projects involving symmetry, Calvert named the badge "Fearful Symmetry," after the William Blake poem "The Tiger."

"Tyger Tyger, burning bright, 
In the forests of the night; 
What immortal hand or eye, 
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?"

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