Scouts surround Segerstrom

Instead of spending their Saturday playing in a park, local Cub Scouts, Webelos and Boy Scouts sat with captivated eyes in the Azusa Pacific Segerstrom Science Center. The Scouts who had purchased tickets arrived at 9 a.m. on Jan. 18 to participate in a variety of activities and lessons.


8-year-old Cub Scout Daniel Lee during his Maps and Compass session. Photo credit: Paige Lange

As a parent and Den Leader, assistant professor and Director of Education and Community Outreach John David Landers set up the event as an opportunity for local troops to participate in earning belt loops and activity and merit badges.

“The Stem/Nova Day has given APU the unique opportunity to be a light to the world as we teach science [to the Scouts] with a Christian perspective,” Landers said.

Sophomore biology major Matt Alfaro said he was “quite impressed” with the passion he saw and that the event brought “hands-on science and application in the real world” to the Scouts.

One of the merit badges awarded was in the science category. Carrie Miller, a professor in the Department of Biology and Chemistry, used PHTH (phenolphthalein) as invisible ink in a demonstration to show that “Chemistry is Fun” before shrinking balloons and breaking flowers that had been frozen by liquid nitrogen, much to the excitement of the Scouts.

Eight-year-old Cub Scout Daniel Lee participated in multiple events and said the session in which he made molecules out of gummy bears, marshmallows and toothpicks was his favorite.

“For many of the boys in attendance, it [was] their first time on a college [campus], being taught by college professors,” said mother and scouter Cheryl Becker. “How great is that?”

Assistant Den Leader Rick Schroth said he enjoyed the opportunity to meet other leaders and Cub Scouts from the area and to learn in a fun, hands-on way.

However, Schroth was disappointed that the event sold out.

“[I’m] bummed it sold out, we had several boys who could not attend,” Schroth said.