The Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Trek is a hike around the Mall area of downtown Washington DC highlighting some of the STEM that was involved in the creation of Washington D.C., and showcasing the government agencies and private organizations involved in STEM that are located in Washington DC.
The Trek includes 24 stops; each has a question for you to answer (a cub scout level question, a Scout BSA level question and an on-site question).
For a glimpse of the questions: At stop #7, the Eisenhower National Presidential Memorial, we want to know how tall the Eisenhower figure in the left-most sculpture is? At stop #16, the Octagon House, we want to know how many angles are formed by the main house outline?
There is an ‘abbreviated’ trek highlighted in the guide for those who prefer that. The shorter hike begins at the Smithsonian Metro station and ends at the Boy Scout Memorial, with a route of 4.75 miles. The longer trek is a 10.57-mile hike and routes through 24 stops from the Smithsonian Metro station to the USDA.
To see the STEM Trek Guide, visit www.ncacbsa.org/stem and expand the section titled ‘DC STEM Trek’. We hope to see you earn your patch!
The origin story of the Trek:
The STEM Trek concept originated from the NCAC STEM Committee, chaired by Dr. Arden Dougan, in 2019. STEM Committee member and Colonial District Supernova Mentor Mr. Tony Springer originally identified over a dozen Trek stops and presented this in a working session at University of Scouting 2020.
From that original idea, Girls Troop 1853 of Springfield, Virginia adapted, enhanced and completed the development of the Trek! Special thanks to Reagan and Cordelia, who were the Senior Patrol Leaders during this development. Inputs were provided by Sarah, Kyra, Sadie, Paige, Sydney, Tessa, Evelynn, Lauren, Moksha, Sumi, Rowan, Aubrie, Reagan, and Cordelia. Input was also provided by Scouters Mrs. Foster, the Scoutmaster, and Mrs. Embry, Mrs. Kelley and Mr. Schulke.
Finally, we would be remiss if we did not recognize Mr. Donlin, a truly unsung hero of the DC STEM Trek. Mr. Donlin took the initiative to rally GTroop 1853 to adopt the development of the Trek during covid. He dedicated countless hours mentoring the group in this endeavor and that does not even include the several miles of hiking/exploring to pilot the Trek! Over several months, Mr. Donlin led the group to complete the design, stops and questions for the DC STEM Trek that you see today.
We hope you enjoy the Trek, and learn about our Nation’s Capital and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics!