National Capital Area Council - USPTO teaches Inventing Merit Badge at UPitt!

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USPTO teaches Inventing Merit Badge at UPitt!

Event Details

Inventing Merit Badge with USPTO & HERL UPITT

This summer, the United States Patent & Trademark Office and HERL of University of Pittsburgh (Human Engineering Research Laboratories) are hosting a hybrid event for Scouts BSA youth and friends to earn the Inventing Merit Badge. 

The event is graciously being hosted by the University of Pittsburgh's Human Engineering Research Laboratories and will include tours and demos of their labs and machine shop! There is also an option for virtual participation.  

Class Overview

The live class on July 23rd balances education with lab/shop tour time, so youth can gain insight into innovative, practical applications and the behind the scenes of inventing. Then, scouts will then develop their inventions on their own schedule (at home) over a month's time, ultimately presenting in a virtual Inventing Showcase to complete the award. 

Event Schedule

Main Event: July 23rd, 12:30 - 4 pm. In-person at HERL UPitt or ZOOM option.

Asynchronous, post-requisite deadlines: Scouts inventing ideas due to counselors August 6. Scouts invention prototypes due to counselors August 20: 

Final Inventing Showcase: September 3rd, 1-2pm. via ZOOM
Please note, that if you are unable to attend the September 3rd virtual inventing showcase, that is okay - scouts may submit their work in advance in order to complete the badge!


In-Person Event Requirements and Details

Uniforms: Attendees must wear close-toed shoes. SBSA may wear Class A uniform. 

Location: UPITT HERL  | 6425 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15206

Covid-19 guidance: At this time, masks are required indoors. We will follow HERL's guidance and update all registrants the week of the event if the policy changes.  

What to bring: pencil, merit badge workbook, water bottle

Parents and guardians: are welcomed to volunteer in your scouts session or elsewhere with the event. Please select your volunteer availability/preferences during registration or email so we may plan accordingly. 

Registration Fee: $10 per youth for online class or $15 per scout for in-person class. This fee covers the event costs of tech licenses, printing, and awards.  If you or another scout requires financial assistance to attend, we have scholarships available. Please email



Tentative Agenda for  Main event

July 23, 2022

12:30 – 1:00 Opening remarks & Intro to Inventing

1:00 – 2:00 The Impact of Invention and An Introduction to Intellectual Property 

2:00  – 3:30 Laboratory Tours and Engineering Demos  

3:30 - 4:00 Why do you invent




What meeting platform is the Council using?

We are using ZOOM for the July session - you will receive a link to join the event the week of. ZOOM also has an app that works on smart phones and tablets. Before you begin your class please test your connection in advance – Test Zoom. If you need additional training on how to use Zoom please visit Zoom training videos – 

Do we need a camera and microphone?

We strongly prefer that you use a device that has both of a camera and a microphone. Scouts will be participating in discussions and need to be actively engaged. 

How will Youth Protection and “no one-on-one contact” be maintained?

When Scouts arrive for the event, they will be placed into an online waiting room. Once the counselor determines that multiple Scouts are present, they will be admitted. We are encouraging parents to stay within earshot to monitor their Scouts activities. 


When will I receive instructions from my Merit Badge Counselor?

Normally, you will receive your instructions from your Merit Badge Counselor 24 hours before class begins. Please check your junk mail, sometimes the email classifies the opt-in link email as junk mail.

How will I communicate with my MBC between the sessions?

We use Basecamp for asynchronous communication and review of merit badge requirements. We will send you a link inviting you to join the Basecamp - a forum for scouts to upload their workbooks, invention ideas, ask questions, etc. Youth Protection is applicable as no one-on-one communications are permissible in Basecamp; all MBCs communicate to scouts in this forum. 

How will I receive notice of completion?

We will issue completion letters (or partial completion letters) to you by email within a few weeks of the final session. These letters have been approved by our Council Advanacement Commitee for use in the MeritBadges@Home program and may be shown to your units to be entered into your advancement records. 

Can I register if I am not from Laurel Highlands Council, or not from National Capital Area Council? 

Absolutely! Please be aware of the time zone difference if you live out of state. University of Pittsburgh is in Eastern Standard Time (EST).

I'd like to get involved as a Merit Badge Counselor/volunteer. How can I connect?

Great! please email: or call 240.395.0601


See here for photos of USPTO's past Inventing Merit Badge sessions

When & Where
Inventing Merit Badge class (in Pittsburgh)
University of Pittsburgh, Human Engineering Research Laboratories
Saturday 07-23-2022 12:30 PM ET to 4:00 PM ET Past
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Inventing Merit Badge class (virtual option)
Via Zoom
Saturday 07-23-2022 12:30 PM ET to 4:00 PM ET Past
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Invention Showcase
Via Zoom
Saturday 09-03-2022 1:00 PM ET to
Sunday 09-04-2022 2:00 PM ET
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