For the past 16 years, Washburn University has hosted the Boy Scout Merit Badge University helping scouts achieve merit badges that may have not been offered in the past. There were around 450 scouts who reported in for classes on Feb 7, more than there had ever been in the past.
We talked to Dr. Keith D. Mazachek, coordinator of the event, who also is a professor of engineering and physics. When asked about the success of the event, he said it was “overall outstanding,” even saying that he hopes to expand the conference for the summer as well. Later on, a question was brought up on who founded the conference. According to Dr. Mazachek Dr. Farley wanted to host it due to his passion for education and his belief of continual learning throughout people’s lives.
There was also talk about the evolution of the event since its creation and how it benefits the university, “ streamlining, such as the pasta buffet that was offered,” said Dr. Mazachek, “along with being able to expand our reaches with different merit badges that are not offered currently.” He explained about benefits to Washburn, explaining, “it gives young people a chance to visit the campus and get acquainted with a possible college choice.”
Lastly, when Dr. Mazachek was asked on the amount and types of merit badges, he replied, “ I’d have to count, but I think there’s 28-30 being provided currently.” He also said the types of badges being offered were mostly classroom style merit badges, as opposed to the Washburn Tech conference, which mostly has hands-on experiences.