Return to Chemistry Merit Badge Page



Please arrive with ample time prior to the start time of your class for registration.  Remember there will be others checking in as well and depending on the size of the class and the event the class is being held in conjunction with that registration may take a little time.

You should bring a blue card filled out properly for this class. (Scoutmaster Bucky Online participants - you should have forwarded your Blue card to Scoutmaster Bucky prior to the class via email or postal mail Scoutmaster Bucky - 5724 Aldrich Avenue South  Minneapolis, Minnesota  55419.) If you are not familiar with how to fill out a blue card, you should familiarize yourself with Scoutmaster Bucky's "How To Fill Out A Blue Card" document. Click here for Scoutmaster Bucky's "How To Fill Out A Blue Card".  Remember it is a Scout's responsibility to take care of their own blue card from beginning to end.

Your Scout Uniform is required to be worn for attending this Merit Badge session.   If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact Brian Reiners; Scoutmaster Bucky via email or on the phone at 612-483-0665.

Reviewing the merit badge pamphlet PRIOR to attending and doing preparation work will insure that Scouts get the most out of these class opportunities. The merit badge pamphlet is a wealth of information that can make earning a merit badge a lot easier. It contains many of the answers and solutions needed or can at least provide directions as to where one can find the answers.  It is NOT acceptable to come unprepared to a Scoutmaster Bucky event.

You can (and should) use the Scoutmaster Bucky Chemistry Merit Badge Workbook to help get a head start and organize your preparation work. You can download the Scoutmaster Bucky Chemistry Merit Badge Workbook by clicking here.  If this link is not working please check the internet for other merit badge workbook options.

It should be noted that this merit badge class is not meant for those who just want to come and see what they can get done. It is possible to complete this merit badge by being properly prepared and having done the preparation work prior to the class. Preparation is a MUST.





Things to remember to bring for this Merit Badge Class:

1. Merit Badge Blue Card properly filled out and signed off by your Scoutmaster

2. Chemistry Merit Badge Pamphlet

3. Scout Uniform

4. Supporting documentation or project work pertinent to this merit badge which may also include a Merit Badge Workbook for reference with notes

5. A positive Scouting focus and attitude

Following is an outline of the class to help you prepare.  Note that Scouts will be signed off only on those requirements that the Merit Badge Counselor determines meets the requirements; no more no less  This Merit Badge should not be expected to be earned without preparation and work


1. Do EACH of the following:

a. Describe three examples of safety equipment used in a chemistry laboratory and the reason each one is used.

Scouts should be prepared to describe their findings for this portion of the requirement.  It is suggested that any notes or references be brought with to the class in order to aid in completion.

b. Describe what a material safety data sheet (MSDS) is and tell why it is used.

Scouts should research and formulate an answer that they can describe to the counselor during the class.

c. Obtain an MSDS for both a paint and an insecticide. Compare and discuss the toxicity, disposal, and safe-handling sections for these two common household products.

This part of the requirement will be completed in the class, however Scouts should be familiar with the requirement and its terms in order to be better prepared for discussion.

d. Discuss the safe storage of chemicals. How does the safe storage of chemicals apply to your home, your school, your community, and the environment.

Scouts should review this requirement and its components and be prepared to discuss.


2. Do EACH of the following:

a. Predict what would happen if you placed an iron nail in a copper sulfate solution. Then, put an iron nail in a copper sulfate solution. Describe your observations and make a conclusion based on your observations. Compare your prediction and original conclusion with what actually happened. Write the formula for the reaction that you described.

This portion of requirement 2 will be completed in the class.

b. Describe how you would separate sand from water, table salt from water, oil from water, and gasoline from motor oil. Name the practical processes that require these kinds of separations.

Prior to arrival at the class, Scouts should research the items in this part of the requirement and be prepared to describe how each is separated from the other.  Scouts should also have at least one "process" sample for each of these in mind to share.

c. Describe the difference between a chemical reaction and a physical change.

Scouts should bring any supporting notes to the class and be prepared to describe.


3. Construct a Cartesian diver. Describe its function in terms of how gases in general behave under different pressures and different temperatures. Describe how the behavior of gases affects a backpacker at high altitudes and a scuba diver underwater

This requirement will be covered in the class.


4. Do EACH of the following:

a. Cut a round onion into small chunks. Separate the onion chunks into three equal portions. Leave the first portion raw. Cook the second portion of onion chunks until the pieces are translucent. Cook the third portion until the onions are caramelized, or brown in color. Taste each type of onion. Describe the taste of raw onion versus partially cooked onion versus caramelized onion. Explain what happens to molecules in the onion during the cooking process.

b. Describe the chemical similarities and differences between toothpaste and an abrasive household cleanser. Explain how the end use or purpose of a product affects its chemical formulation.

c. In a clear container, mix a half-cup of water with a tablespoon of oil. Explain why the oil and water do not mix. Find a substance that will help the two combine, and add it to the mixture. Describe what happened, and explain how that substance worked to combine the oil and water.

All components of requirements 4 will be completed during the class as a part of this class.  Scouts should come prepared having reviewed the information in the merit badge pamphlet as it pertains to these requirements.


5. List the four classical divisions of chemistry. Briefly describe each one, and tell how it applies to your everyday life

Scouts should review this requirement and be prepared to discuss.  It is strongly recommended that Scouts bring any notes or supporting documents they may have to help show the counselor that they have prepared for discussion of these items.


6. Do EACH of the following:

a. Name two government agencies that are responsible for tracking the use of chemicals for commercial or industrial use. Pick one agency and briefly describe its responsibilities to the public and the environment.

b. Define pollution. Explain the chemical effects of ozone, global warming, and acid rain. Pick a current environmental problem as an example. Briefly describe what people are doing to resolve this hazard and to increase understanding of the problem.

c. Using reasons from chemistry, describe the effect on the environment of ONE of the following:

1. The production of aluminum cans or plastic milk cartons.

2. Sulfur from burning coal.

3. Used motor oil.

4. Newspaper.

d. Briefly describe the purpose of phosphates in fertilizer and in laundry detergent. Explain how the use of phosphates in fertilizers affects the environment. Also, explain why phosphates have been removed from laundry detergents.

All of the options for requirement 6 can and should be researched and reviewed prior to the class. It is strongly recommended that Scouts bring any notes or supporting documents they may have to help show the counselor that they have prepared for discussion of these items.


7. Do ONE of the following activities:

a. Visit a laboratory and talk to a practicing chemist. Ask what the chemist does, and what training and education are needed to work as a chemist.

b. Using resources found at the library and in periodicals, books, and the Internet (with your parent's permission), learn about two different kinds of work done by chemists, chemical engineers, chemical technicians, or industrial chemists. For each of the four jobs, find out the education and training requirements.

c. Visit an industrial plant that makes chemical products or uses chemical processes and describe the processes used. What, if any, pollutants are produced and how they are handled.

d. Visit a county farm agency or similar governmental agency and learn how chemistry is used to meet the needs of agriculture in your county.

Scouts will need to do one of the options for requirement 7 prior to the class.  Three of the four options require site visits which may prove challenging for some. Time will be allotted during the class for all Scouts to share their activity with the counselor and class for consideration of sign off on this requirement.  Just saying you did it is not enough, Scouts should bring proof to share along with their presentation to the counselor and class.


this page last reviewed and updated - December 2015