An InstaSTEM is typically a 50-100 word explanation of a phenomenon that augments a hike, waterfront or other Scouting activity. Patrol Leaders can sprinkle them around a campsite, along a trail, etc. Use them any way that improves the Scouting experience. (Leave No Trace: pick them up when done!) Depending on the topic and the venue, InstaSTEMs could be delivered as:

  • Laminated mini-posters mounted near the object
  • 3×5 cards
  • QR codes
  • Smartphone Apps

Current InstaSTEM Collection


Here are short explanations of the underlying STEM concepts of various phenomena, activities, tools, natural surroundings, etc. that Scouting youth may encounter.

As a leader, you can use these resources as a read-ahead to explain to your Scouting youth or use them to build an activity around the topic. Feel free to print or show images to help make the point to the Scouting youth.

MinuteSTEM Collection

We want more! Feel free to use these models as a template to develop other STEM explanations you may want to use for various unit events throughout your Scouting year. Writing an InstaSTEM or MinuteSTEM should take 10-20 min, pulling info from, merit badge pamphlets, Wikipedia and other sources, including formatting a graphic or image. If you write an InstaSTEM or MinuteSTEM, or if you have edits to one of the current documents, please submit it to Mitch Erickson. We’ll edit and add it to the council’s collection and you will do a good turn by helping other units integrate STEM into their programs.